Is there a Definitive way to see if you are penalized

warrenpd

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2014
Messages
29
Hi all,

I was just wondering if anyone have a definitive way to see if you have a local penalty? I had a listing drop to the second page of maps from the top 4th spot last week for a competitive keyword. Nothing was changed on the my GMB page and there aren't any NAP or duplicate issues.

I know there was a hack that Google closed a few months back but I haven't seen anything like that sense. Any suggestions?
 

Eric Rohrback

Moderator
Joined
Oct 3, 2012
Messages
983
Not really a one-way to find that out, but this was brought up a while back in a thread here. I've got a few resources that may help here:

Thread on Local Troubleshooting:

http://www.localsearchforum.com/google-local-important/27104-advanced-tip-google-local-troubleshooting-duplicate-discovery.html

Directory Bug Blog post using Google 100 Search:
Checking Google Places Penalties - DirectoryBug

Not sure if the Directory Bug approach still works with all the changes to the local environment, but I would give it a try to see if you are in fact being penalized or just not ranking well. Worth a shot.
 

Linda Buquet

Moderator
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
13,307
Thanks Eric!

Warren here is the main troubleshooting thread:
<a href="http://www.localsearchforum.com/google-local-important/14266-local-troubleshooting-best-practices.html">Local Troubleshooting Best Practices</a>

The 2nd link Eric gave (Directory Bug) is the hack you were referring to that no longer works.

But I specialize in ranking troubleshooting and can often figure things out. It's pretty much done on a case by case basis, so can't really explain more than that troubleshooting post does.

But if you care to share the listing we'll take a look and see what we can come up with for you. (FYI if you post a link, this will turn from general discussion to help thread, so I'll be moving this down to the help section.)
 
Joined
Aug 7, 2013
Messages
751
Not sure if the Directory Bug approach still works with all the changes to the local environment, but I would give it a try to see if you are in fact being penalized or just not ranking well. Worth a shot.
I'm pretty sure this tactic stopped working.
 

warrenpd

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2014
Messages
29
Thanks for the responses guys. Ive used that thread before for sure. Glad its around! Linda I'll probably shoot you a PM about.

Thanks
 

JoyHawkins

Administrator
Joined
Jul 18, 2012
Messages
2,999
I find the concept of a local penalty quite fascinating. A lot of people talk about it and refer to it but there's barely anything online that's written about it, unlike other topics. Also, Google is quite open about other types of penalties (Manual penalties, Penguin etc) but I don't think I've ever seen anything from them confirming if there is such thing as a local penalty or how it works.

I'm dying to learn more about it but haven't had much luck finding a lot about it. Someone needs to blog about this in detail.

Linda - I nominate you :)
 

Linda Buquet

Moderator
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
13,307
I find the concept of a local penalty quite fascinating. A lot of people talk about it and refer to it but there's barely anything online that's written about it, unlike other topics. Also, Google is quite open about other types of penalties (Manual penalties, Penguin etc) but I don't think I've ever seen anything from them confirming if there is such thing as a local penalty or how it works.

I'm dying to learn more about it but haven't had much luck finding a lot about it. Someone needs to blog about this in detail.

Linda - I nominate you :)
Haha, my dance card is almost full. Have so many other posts on my to-do list.

Plus that one is hard. I always get there through a process of elimination but every case is so different it would be super hard to explain.
 

Broland

Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2012
Messages
136
Relevant to my interests. I think that right now it's just checking everything that we know can cause a drop/penalty which for many requires the help of someone experienced in the field.

I analyzed a ton and figured out a lot of interesting things with the old places search and what causes penalties with local before sharing it publicly, and people like Linda have a lot of systematic check lists, so to speak, to make sure you don't have anything that could be problematic - you can find most of those in various threads. So I would say either enlist in some help or just take a few nights to read all you can and explore some yourself if you want to learn and go a DIY approach.

Good luck.
 

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