GMB Ranking Collapsed - Superior Site Booted From Pick 3

Pete

Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2019
Messages
8
For months, we dominated the local 3 listings. We work hard to please our customers, we have a real location, we respond to the few complaints that we have received, we embrace moral and ethical business conduct and we strive to be a good community member. Our link profile seems to be legit and we contribute content to quality blogs and post regularly on our GMB profile. We have nearly 3 times as many 5-star reviews on GMB than our closest competitor. However, we have dropped out of the local pick 3 while witnessing much weaker competition take the top positions. By weaker competition, I mean sites you really need to see to believe. They are bad and their content is atrocious.

The top spot consists of a business that hasn’t had a review in months. However, they have had a few customers ask questions. But I am suspicious of those questions. The questions must be a ranking factor. We are a larger business and have been around much longer and have never had a single question asked. My gut feeling is that those questions were posted for the sole purpose of gaming the GMB system. A review of their link profile shows that 85-95% percent of the links to their site should sound spam alarms and make Google’s crawlers overheat. They really are that bad.

The second spot is occupied by a site with incredibly weak content. In fact, when I show it to SEO consultants, they become puzzled. The site barely has anything that that could be considered content and user experience is awful. Most people can’t understand why anyone would promote a business like this and they only have a few reviews.

Finally, the third position switches between a site with poor reviews and and a well-known GMB violator with virtual offices in every major U.S. city. The worst part is that they are posting fake reviews. A simple search reveals that they are a virtual office and the suite number has 40 different tenants. Some of the fake reviews include comments about how beautiful their office space is and how friendly their employees are. Keep in mind, this is a virtual office and they have no employees at this location.

To further complicate the matter, all these companies are located outside of the center of the city. We are in the center of the city. So just to recap.

We have 3 times more 5-star reviews than any competitor
We are located closer to the centroid than any competitor
We have a real location
We post articles on GMB much more regularly
We have a decent link profile, that is much less spammy than our competitors

For weeks, I have been trying to figure out what we have done wrong. We have not received any messages about being in violation of the GMB terms. I would really appreciate some expert advice. Our website address is 24hourtranslation.com and a good search example would be "Houston Translation Services" or simply "translation services" if you live in Houston.
 
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Tim Colling

Moderator
Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 3, 2014
Messages
995
Hi Pete -

I can sure understand your frustration with this situation.

One thing to consider would be the difference between your backlink profiles. Your site has more "dofollow" links than AtoZ, but AtoZ has far more dofollow referring domains, according to ahrefs.

 

Colan Nielsen

Administrator
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Messages
3,135
Hi @Pete when I search "translation services" with my search location set to your zipcode I see you in the #1 spot.



As the searcher location gets farther away from the businesses location you can see the rankings go down, which is typical. What I am noticing is that a few of the listings that outrank you as you get farther away from the business are not eligible. For instance I see at least one listing that is an unclaimed listing at a residential address. That can be removed from Google Maps. I'd review those.

 

MaxAdventures

Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2018
Messages
10
Hi @Pete when I search "translation services" with my search location set to your zipcode I see you in the #1 spot.

View attachment 4046

As the searcher location gets farther away from the businesses location you can see the rankings go down, which is typical. What I am noticing is that a few of the listings that outrank you as you get farther away from the business are not eligible. For instance I see at least one listing that is an unclaimed listing at a residential address. That can be removed from Google Maps. I'd review those.

View attachment 4047
Hi Colan, may I ask what is that software you using to get the results for business ranking based on distance (last screenshot). Would really appreciate it.
 

Pete

Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2019
Messages
8
Hi Colan, may I ask what is that software you using to get the results for business ranking based on distance (last screenshot). Would really appreciate it.
Hey guys, I've bee sweating this drop so much that I haven't thought to come back to see if anyone would reply. One thing that I am noticing is an extremely spammy link profile for #1 (AZTRA********). Here are a few examples:

bbvacompasstourdehouston.com

and lot of spammy blog comments designed to get cheap links.
 
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Pete

Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2019
Messages
8
Hi Pete -

I can sure understand your frustration with this situation.

One thing to consider would be the difference between your backlink profiles. Your site has more "dofollow" links than AtoZ, but AtoZ has far more dofollow referring domains, according to ahrefs.

View attachment 4045
nshot). Would really appreciate it.
[/QUOTE] When you look at the link profiles, does AtoZ look really spammy? It looks like they are participating in a link farm, really low quality blog comments, purchasing links and doing old forum profile links. I can't believe any of this stuff still works. I would hope that our profile would look a whole lot better. What is the difference between a dofollow referring and a regular dofollow. Is one type more valuable than the other?
 
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Pete

Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2019
Messages
8
What would you recommend to get back on course to catch up with this company? To me it seems like they are employing a local seo who buys up old local business domains and then posts small, poorly written content pieces that offer no value and then includes a link. The combine this with an inexpensive freelancer from India to write poorly written blog comments and make profile links on forums.
 

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