Local SEO - Why is this ranking so high?


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Just wondering if anyone could give me feedback on why this listing is ranking in position A. Besides the amount of reviews, any other insight why this one shot to the A position?

The site is: losangelescriminallawyer DOT pro {Linda removed live anchor text link}

And here's a screenshot of the local results for "Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney"

 
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Linda Buquet

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Hi Mariano,

Just having lots of reviews doesn't really put you on top usually.

I just took a quick look but what jumped out at me is how many times Los Angeles was on the home page. Excessive KW density really for all his keywords.

Plus Los Angeles 3 times on G+ Local page.

Plus of course it's an EMD with Los Angeles in it. (Now we know at least that a .pro domain can rank. That's the 1st time I've ever noticed one out in the wild.)

So I see major KW over-optimization - which I've noticed Pigeon likes a lot. I guess more traditional ranking signals talked about with Pigeon means going back 10 years to the heavy KW stuffing days. :(

Have you done back link competitive analysis? That could be it too. I've seen a few people saying BLs seem to count for more in local now.
 
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Hi Linda,

That's what is weird about it. He doesn't rank on the first page organically.

But he ranks on the A spot for Local. That's why I find it so weird.

---------- Post Merged at 02:28 PM ---------- Previous Post was at 02:23 PM ----------

His Google + page also has 265,000 views, which I find a little on the high side.
 

Linda Buquet

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"He doesn't rank on the first page organically."

Oh now that's interesting. Didn't realize that. Didn't check that deep.

But you are right - that's pretty odd.
 
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Interesting. I've not seen a .pro ranked so highly.
Quick word on backlinks. The .pro has over 17K backlinks with 7k each (14K total) coming from Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Blog — Published by Los Angeles & Southern California Criminal & DUI Defense Attorney and Los Angeles DUI Attorney Blog — Published by Los Angeles & Southern California Criminal & DUI Defense Attorney Michael Kraut

As Linda points out, it appears to be excessive geo-local kw usage, but maybe this is working post pigeon. At least for now. Things are still in flux.

Since he is on the Map Pack, I'd suggest studying his citation profile using Bright Local, Whitespark or Places Scout to see if there are any advantages.

Best of luck!
 
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Have you done back link competitive analysis? That could be it too. I've seen a few people saying BLs seem to count for more in local now.
When you say BL's seem to count for more now does that mean the links to the specific URL that is provided on the G+ biz listing or total links to the site?

I am asking b/c after Penguin 2.1 in October of last year a client of ours was hit hard. Dramatic drop in organic rankings BUT they remained in the Local packs, to my surprise! Without notice their previous "SEO" firm had redirected all their microsites to the new site and unfortunately we were not aware of this until after the drop in rankings.

The majority of the microsites were redirected to the homepage and city pages. Prior to developing the site I asked to create specific pages for Local for better tracking and NAP consistency, so the URL's that are on their G+ listings (that are still ranking well in Local, even after Pigeon) have roughly 8% of the links the city page has, that was previously ranking well in organic.

Something I have been wondering about....:confused:
 
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Confused yet? Me too when I recently was researching a variety of terms.

If the top 3 positions are usually influenced by organic rankings what is going on here for the term "Dallas Electrician"?





I know, as Linda says, the pigeon has not landed yet so I am not looking for an answer on this, just thought it was interesting that a business that ranks 1st organically did not make it into the Local pack.
 

JoshuaMackens

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Just wondering if anyone could give me feedback on why this listing is ranking in position A. Besides the amount of reviews, any other insight why this one shot to the A position?

Here's the site: Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer - Los Angeles DUI Attorney - The Kraut Law Group serving LA, Pasadena, Beverly Hills, Glendale and Burbank

And here's a screenshot of the local results for "Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney"

View attachment 1910
He has a Penguin penalty. Penguin penalties will affect organic listings but will not affect the local pack. The local pack ignores them. It creates a type of buffer.

Almost any time you see someone ranking high in the local pack but not anywhere organically, they're under a penguin penalty.

When you say BL's seem to count for more now does that mean the links to the specific URL that is provided on the G+ biz listing or total links to the site?

I am asking b/c after Penguin 2.1 in October of last year a client of ours was hit hard. Dramatic drop in organic rankings BUT they remained in the Local packs, to my surprise! Without notice their previous "SEO" firm had redirected all their microsites to the new site and unfortunately we were not aware of this until after the drop in rankings.

The majority of the microsites were redirected to the homepage and city pages. Prior to developing the site I asked to create specific pages for Local for better tracking and NAP consistency, so the URL's that are on their G+ listings (that are still ranking well in Local, even after Pigeon) have roughly 8% of the links the city page has, that was previously ranking well in organic.

Something I have been wondering about....:confused:
Hey Amber,

Same thing as above. October 4th I believe was Penguin. Sounds like they got hit but the local pack buffer kept them in the local pack ranking.
 

Broland

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I don't have time for any analysis in any kind of depth right now but I did want to add one thing to what has been questioned/said.

Often times if a site has an algorithmic penalty such as Penguin, it will still rank well in pack results. But there is also something Google uses called the diversification of search results by merging (Worth looking up if you want to read about it.) Most of you have seen it in action, basically merging the organic and local listings to only display a domain or page once per SERP result. This factor/algo gets tweaked at times (usually with updates) and you will see changes.

Not so long ago it was much much easier to break down the local places rankings separate from organic rankings and figure a lot of things out with different tricks/searches in the Google Places search, but that's gone now and I think that is in Google's favor and best interest of combating spammers and SEO's.

So I'm not saying it is or isn't, but not ranking organically while ranking in the pack doesn't necessarily mean a penalty. Remember every SERP is different too.
 

JoshuaMackens

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I don't have time for any analysis in any kind of depth right now but I did want to add one thing to what has been questioned/said.

Often times if a site has an algorithmic penalty such as Penguin, it will still rank well in pack results. But there is also something Google uses called the diversification of search results by merging (Worth looking up if you want to read about it.) Most of you have seen it in action, basically merging the organic and local listings to only display a domain or page once per SERP result. This factor/algo gets tweaked at times (usually with updates) and you will see changes.

Not so long ago it was much much easier to break down the local places rankings separate from organic rankings and figure a lot of things out with different tricks/searches in the Google Places search, but that's gone now and I think that is in Google's favor and best interest of combating spammers and SEO's.

So I'm not saying it is or isn't, but not ranking organically while ranking in the pack doesn't necessarily mean a penalty. Remember every SERP is different too.
I did not know about that Broland, great find.

While I do a Penguin analysis on all the websites I believe to be under the penalty, you will need to do it yourself to make sure that you're seeing an issue because of Penguin and not because of what Broland mentioned.

For the record, every SERP I've seen so far where a company is in the local pack but 4 pages deep organically or more, a Penguin penalty has been the culprit.

If someone would like me to do a guest blog post for them on detecting Penguin penalties or anything else related to this, I'd be happy to. I'd put it on my own blog but my audience is local businesses, not SEO's so it would be too advanced for them and confusing.

PM me and let me know!
 

Linda Buquet

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Wow Ben and Joshua, you guys are really sharing great insights!
Just shared this post and called you two out on Twitter and G+!

Thanks for the great food for thought!
 
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A little late to the party but I will put my 2 cents in anyway. I have noticed that, not only what Linda said earlier about the keyword density, but sites that tend to rank in the maps pack usually have the Google+ page linked in some way. Either through the publisher tag hidden on their site, or an icon linking them to the + page. This is just giving Google what they want and allowing them to add information to the knowledge graph.

Obviously this is not the only way to rank on the front page maps pack. However, it's a start.

It also seems that we've forgotten the time when Google had separated the Map Pack and Organic results. Way back when we were talking about "Blended" map listings that take into consideration all signals, map and organic, to create one nice page.
 

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