Keyword Variation Rankings

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Dec 18, 2012
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179
So when I research a client, and they are number one in the 7-pack for:
dentist in [city]

...then I type in [city] dentist they are no where in the 7-pack.

So that slight variation in keyword order resulted in a dramatic difference in
G+ Local 7-pack.

How can we make sure they are at least in the 7-pack for all variations?

Also, this prospect does not have one review, and is ranking number ONE in the 7-pack. How is that possible? Terrible site layout. Minimal backlinks, etc...

Thanks,
Mike
 

JoshuaMackens

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If it's a 7 pack it is probably working off of the pure local algo which heavily takes into account your Google+ Local page and citation information. From what I understand, it rarely takes into consideration your website for this. That's probably the explanation for why it ranks at all.

Why it doesn't rank consistently might be a number of different factors. Age of business (how long its information has had to propagate across the local search directory system), there may be a snippet somewhere that specifically mentions the [keyword] [city] one way and it carries a lot of weight, maybe a review somewhere, who knows. There could be numerous issues.

However, this sounds like an easy win to me. If Google is serving up a 7 pack, it's been my experience that means she doesn't feel confident in showing blended because the organic website results aren't strong enough. What this means is that you should be easily able to rank the website with good on-site optimization and some backlinks.

There's always a bright spot, just have to find it :)

Am I correct in guessing this isn't in a very competitive city?
 

Linda Buquet

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Also, this prospect does not have one review, and is ranking number ONE in the 7-pack. How is that possible? Terrible site layout. Minimal backlinks, etc...
If you are talking blended 7 pack then reviews don't really count as much in the ranking order, other stuff does.

But to answer all your Qs I would just be guessing in the dark without seeing the listing and looking at the market. Too many variables.

Reasons they rank for one KW combo and not the reverse order? Sometimes they are penalized for one KW combo. Sometimes it's just the way they are optimized. Sometimes it's something else. Again can't guess blindly. The answer is it depends.
 
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Joshua,

I would say it is medium competition. Definitely not low competition.

What I am figuring out is it seems if google is ranking a homepage in the 7-pack, it is nearly impossible to go after same term for homepage in organic results on first page. Is that correct?

So maybe have an interior page like domain.com/dentistinportland if we want to rank for that term on the first page of organic, in addition to the already 7-pack, first page listing. Does that make sense?

I'm a little confused why google would show citydentist in 7-pack, then not show it for dentistcity.

Thanks,
Mike

If it's a 7 pack it is probably working off of the pure local algo which heavily takes into account your Google+ Local page and citation information. From what I understand, it rarely takes into consideration your website for this. That's probably the explanation for why it ranks at all.

Why it doesn't rank consistently might be a number of different factors. Age of business (how long its information has had to propagate across the local search directory system), there may be a snippet somewhere that specifically mentions the [keyword] [city] one way and it carries a lot of weight, maybe a review somewhere, who knows. There could be numerous issues.

However, this sounds like an easy win to me. If Google is serving up a 7 pack, it's been my experience that means she doesn't feel confident in showing blended because the organic website results aren't strong enough. What this means is that you should be easily able to rank the website with good on-site optimization and some backlinks.

There's always a bright spot, just have to find it :)

Am I correct in guessing this isn't in a very competitive city?
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
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Linda, I was under the assumption that more or less, 25% of the algo was based on reviews according to David Mihm. Is this incorrect?

Mike, normally, for organic, you are only going to have one spot on the first page, no matter how well you optimize. Google wants to show diversity. However, this also depends on competition. Less competition means a higher chance to have more than one spot on the first page, in organic terms.

I don't think it's far fetched for Google to append local search results to this rule as well where you have one or the other on the first page, not both.

Is this a dentist in a big city in your state or a smaller city? If it's smaller, I doubt the competition is that stiff relatively. If that's the case, it makes sense to see wild fluctuation in search results, especially if the business is new to the internet.
 

Linda Buquet

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Linda, I was under the assumption that more or less, 25% of the algo was based on reviews according to David Mihm. Is this incorrect
Not saying David or the LSRF is incorrect just saying in my studies the "blended" algo is primarily about organic factors and reviews and citations does not play a big part. Still does in the old algo but that does not show up much anymore.

I could give lots of examples that prove what I say but I don't have time to document it. You can see it for yourself if you know how and where to look. I'll try to write a post on it someday.

Also you can get doubles. I have a dentist ranking #1 organic and A in local. We've discussed it here many times and many of the consultants who have taken my Local SEO course where I teach the strategy are achieving it for their clients as well.

While it's not easy and you can't do it by accident, if you know the techniques it can be done. But like anything else depends on competition. Probably can't do it for Atlanta personal injury attorney - but low to medium competition it's def possible.
 

JoshuaMackens

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What I've seen is more in line with what DM has said. If you look at pure organic factors such as backlinks and on-page factors, a lot of the rankings for the blended pack don't make sense. Using OSE and using the Moz metrics such as page authority and domain authority, people who shouldn't be outranking their competition based on organic SEO are in the blended section. To me that says that citations and reviews still do play a large part in the ranking for blended.

That's just my 2 cents though :)
 

Linda Buquet

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Joshua, if you can show me a couple examples of that I'll show you a different way of looking at things that will shine a light on what I'm talking about.

And yes reviews and citations def do still play a part and don't mean to imply they are not important. What I'm saying is the algo is heavily weighted toward organic factors. That's why you'll often see unclaimed listings with few reviews outranking claimed listings with many reviews.

There is a distinct correlation I can show I just need time to document it.

Also FYI LSRF is coming out again soon so it will be interesting to see how views have changed this go round.
 
Last edited:

JoshuaMackens

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https://www.google.com/search?q=chiropractor+atlanta&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

#2 Atlanta Chiropractor, Buckhead, Georgia Tech and Atlanta GA - Chiropractic Works - PA: 28 - DA:15

ranks ahead of

#3 Atlanta Chiropractor Chiropractic Atlanta Georgia Chiropractors GA 30308 - PA: 34 - DA: 26

&

#5 Atlanta Chiropractor | Atlanta Chiropractic Care - PA: 39 - DA: 30

That's just a quick example. I didn't check the on-page factors too much but the guy who ranks #2 has duplicate content, very little homepage content, & has little to no content across the site in general (around 10 pages indexed in Google).
 

Linda Buquet

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Perfect example!

I have a consult now will be back later with something I think you'll enjoy digging into. :)
 
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Linda,

I plan on taking your 'remote' course, but in the meantime, if we are researching a new client, and they by happen-chance are ranking in the 7-pack for homepage, would it be a best use of our SEO strategies to go for an interior page for organic?

So, lets say they ranking first page (7-pack) for:

city + dentist

Then organic, we could have an interior page like:
.../dentistincity that we would go after for first page organic rankings.

Does that make sense?

I don't want to waste SEO resources trying to rank homepage in organic, when it already ranks in 7-pack.

And, we could reverse that scenario as well.

So they rank organically on first page of SERPs for their homepage city dentist.

So do we go for 7-pack with that interior page of: .../dentistincity?

Thanks,
Mike

Not saying David or the LSRF is incorrect just saying in my studies the "blended" algo is primarily about organic factors and reviews and citations does not play a big part. Still does in the old algo but that does not show up much anymore.

I could give lots of examples that prove what I say but I don't have time to document it. You can see it for yourself if you know how and where to look. I'll try to write a post on it someday.

Also you can get doubles. I have a dentist ranking #1 organic and A in local. We've discussed it here many times and many of the consultants who have taken my Local SEO course where I teach the strategy are achieving it for their clients as well.

While it's not easy and you can't do it by accident, if you know the techniques it can be done. But like anything else depends on competition. Probably can't do it for Atlanta personal injury attorney - but low to medium competition it's def possible.
 

Linda Buquet

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Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
14,441
https://www.google.com/search?q=chiropractor+atlanta&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

#2 Atlanta Chiropractor, Buckhead, Georgia Tech and Atlanta GA - Chiropractic Works - PA: 28 - DA:15

ranks ahead of

#3 Atlanta Chiropractor Chiropractic Atlanta Georgia Chiropractors GA 30308 - PA: 34 - DA: 26

&

#5 Atlanta Chiropractor | Atlanta Chiropractic Care - PA: 39 - DA: 30

That's just a quick example. I didn't check the on-page factors too much but the guy who ranks #2 has duplicate content, very little homepage content, & has little to no content across the site in general (around 10 pages indexed in Google).
Perfect example!

I have a consult now will be back later with something I think you'll enjoy digging into. :)
Joshua that's such a perfect example that I think I'm going to use it in my big post. And in starting to just answer your Q above realized there is no quick easy way for me to just do it here in this post and we are talking Mike's thread off-topic a little on our discussion of reviews and how much they impact ranking order and how the local algo works.

So I need to wait and do the full-blown post because it's big and will take time.

I plan to publish Tues AM and think you'll be surprised at what I share.
Will try to remember to come back and link here.


PLUS Miriam just blogged on a related topic and we are discussing how much # of reviews impact ranking here too: How Much Does Sheer Review Count Really Matter?
 

Linda Buquet

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Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
14,441
Linda,

I plan on taking your 'remote' course, but in the meantime, if we are researching a new client, and they by happen-chance are ranking in the 7-pack for homepage, would it be a best use of our SEO strategies to go for an interior page for organic?

So, lets say they ranking first page (7-pack) for:

city + dentist

Then organic, we could have an interior page like:
.../dentistincity that we would go after for first page organic rankings.

Does that make sense?

I don't want to waste SEO resources trying to rank homepage in organic, when it already ranks in 7-pack.

And, we could reverse that scenario as well.

So they rank organically on first page of SERPs for their homepage city dentist.

So do we go for 7-pack with that interior page of: .../dentistincity?

Thanks,
Mike
The answer in order is yes, no and kinda but not really. It depends on the situation but part of what you said above is not ideal. When I explain it all in detail in training it all makes sense, but why you do it a certain way and how to achieve the double ranking is a lot more complicated that what you said above. There is a lot more to it.
 

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