Cray Cray Local Result - How are these Ranking? What do you think is up?


Linda Buquet

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This ones interesting... I can't type too much today, so head over to read the story and all the research I already did on this one at the Google forum.

<a href="https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!msg/business/ela4NDctsNE/qJF_fpna62wJ">Maps For Local Business - Google Product Forums</a>

The SERP in question is: https://www.google.com/search?q=Beavercreek+Tree+Service in Dayton Oh. And the complaint is about the 4 businesses with Beaver Creek in the name, because they are all sites for the same company.

So in summary, this company has 4 sites that are ranking. And 4 G+ L pages which is a violation.

PLUS: Typically Google won't give the same company 4 spots in the same pack.
But these are all different sites and phone #s. (So are spam SABs.)

PLUS: All the sites are hijacked and redirect to an ad server
SOOO most of the content is not relevant and don't have an local business NAP on the site.
(How are they ranking?)

PLUS: All the sites are cookie cutter dupe content - all the same content and ads.

PLUS: All the sites are blocked by robots.txt so Google should not even be crawling them.

Yet all 4 rank page 1.

From what I can tell cvtreecareco.com (the F spot for me) seems to be the official site because it's listed on the BBB. But like the others it redirects to th ad server and has robots.txt blocked.

But the A & B spots he scored are of course because they are EMDs. :mad:
(I don't mind EMDs or exact match names ranking - except when they have nothing else going for them.)

So what's up Google? 2 spam sites rank on top, that have no relevant content, don't link to a local business or have a local phone #. Are filled with ads and all dupe content. AND are blocked by robots.txt. And are violating G+ Local guidelines.

Now as I said over there, I realize these bogus redirects maybe just happened and the index just has not caught up. I can't check Google cache or even the Way Back Machine because everything is blocked due to robots.txt. (So again, how are they even ranking?)

BUT that bogus EMD that has the A spot, has 6 reviews dating back 2 years. So that one at least has been around for some time.

What do you think???

(FYI this one may not be worth putting much more time into and I wasted more carpal energy than I should have. Maybe is just a one-off anomaly. But found it odd and curious so wanted to share.)
 
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Linda Buquet

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Posted this one on Saturday while you all were out playing. :p
So bumping for the weekday crowd.
 
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Just to see what will happen, I reported the B listing (Beavercreek Tree Care LLC) as spam. It will be interesting to track how long it takes Google to remove super obvious spam. If they don't, one can only wonder why they would make such a tool available.
 

Jim Froling

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Linda,
I hate to say it but what I think is up is all bad :( It seems that local rankings have become more arbitrary over the past year+. And it has gotten worse recently it seems since MapMaker user edits was "temporarily suspended".

Phil Rozek's interview with Bryan Seely was enlightening for me. Was it just coincidental that G locked MM shortly after Mr. Seely made headlines via his manipulation of the Secret Service via G+ and Maps? I'm hoping not.

As Mr. Seely pointed out, Google has essentially ignored problems with Maps (and therefore Local), for years. Google has ignored, it seems, even their Top Contributors. Can they also ignore the Secret Service? How about the NSA? I think not.

Perhaps with this revelation Google is finally using part of their brain trust to fix Maps and Local once and for all. It's about time as this seemingly crucial area of Google Search is becoming less and less relevant and the user experience suffers as a result. And we all know (I think) how passionate G is about relevance and the UX.
 

Linda Buquet

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Thanks Michael and Jim. I agree and sure hope it gets better!

In addition to the spam issue, the other thing this case points out, (since these should not be ranking at all, whether you look at the organic algo or local algo, esp since robots text and ad parking pages) is the power of EMDs, PMDs and KW stuffed business names to rank IN SPITE of everything else. :mad:
 

JoyHawkins

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I always marvel at these black-hat cases because the people who achieve ranking this way really think outside the box. I think blocking Google from crawling the site is semi-genious b/c if Google was able to crawl the site, they would get rid of it in the index (or at least it wouldn't rank well). Instead, they built tons of natural-looking citations and backlinks to the site and that's definitely why they rank.

They even have all these non-existing URLs and pages on their site that make it "seem legit" to a bot that is told not to crawl the entire thing.
(https://plus.google.com/109315653841896023925/posts)


They even had some "people" on G+ claim to work there! https://plus.google.com/101737450853749813132/posts

I reported the site itself as webspam. Responses from G+ lately on spam are sloowwwww....This guy has tons of listings though so maybe you should escalate it Linda, if you haven't already?
 

JimFranco

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to me it looks like they created a bunch of private blog networks got them high authority links and then linked those now authorize local blogs to their main listing and created a pretty solid white hat citation and listing profile.

The key was the private blog network
 

JoshuaMackens

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Let me get this straight, Google ranks websites they can't crawl?

I don't have time to go in depth on it today but that seems against Google 101. Know what you're promoting. That's crazy.
 
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