More Google Local Changes - Location Links + Rich Snippets are Back?

Linda Buquet

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Jun 28, 2012
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Discovered more little gold nuggets of change in Google Local land today.

Search for plumber Charlotte NC. Notice anything new?

LocationLinks.png

1) Location Links - I've never seen links to additional locations in in the like that before, have you?
I think it's new.

2) Gold stars! Yep I'm seeing rich snippet stars in local for the 1st time in several months. It would be wise to eval the exact code Rotor Rooter is using, since other sites that had rich snippets are still not showing stars, so could be something unique to their code. (No time to dig deep, will leave it to you guys to investigate further.)

Hat tip to Joe Restivo in the comments at Danny Goodwin's post at Search Engine Watch.
Is Google Places Search Permanently Closed? - Search Engine Watch (#SEW). Joe commented about the rich snippets in that SERP result and then I noticed the extra location links.

 
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Feb 5, 2013
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Per 2) looks like they are using the following schema markup for the overall review rating,
HTML:
<span class="rating"><span class="average" itemprop="aggregateRating" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/AggregateRating" itemprop="ratingValue">4.8</span> out of <span class="best">5</span>
</span>
Not sure if there is anything significant to the code itself though.
 

Phil Rozek

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Jul 26, 2012
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1) Location Links - I've never seen links to additional locations in local listings like that before, have you?
I think it's new.

2) Gold stars! Yep I'm seeing rich snippet stars in local for the 1st time in several months. It would be wise to eval the exact code Rotor Rooter is using, since other sites that had rich snippets are still not showing stars, so could be something unique to their code. (No time to dig deep, will leave it to you guys to investigate further.)
Whoa! Thanks for the tip, Linda. I haven't seen gold stars in the Google+Local results for a year. This could be significant.

I don't know that I've seen Google+Local sitelinks for other locations before, but if you search by name for Roto-Rooter of Charlotte, you'll see those same sitelinks appear in the organic SERPs. So my guess is it's nothing new, but rather that these guys have just done an unusually good job of SEO.
 

Linda Buquet

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I don't know that I've seen Google+Local sitelinks for other locations before, but if you search by name for Roto-Rooter of Charlotte, you'll see those same sitelinks appear in the organic SERPs. So my guess is it's nothing new, but rather that these guys have just done an unusually good job of SEO.
Ya I just had never seen the links in the 7 pack like that before. In a brand search yes, but not the pack.

They do seem to rank everywhere too so we can learn a lesson or 3 from what they are doing.
 

Jason

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Jan 16, 2013
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I believe they are doing something shady here. They seem to be using a Jquery star rating plugin where they have selectively added a bunch of 4 and 5 star reviews. There is no option to add a review on the site.

I work with the plumbing industry and there is no way that they would have 18 reviews that were 4-5 stars. Not a chance. Plumbing has some of the most up and down reviews (even the good ones) of any business.
 

Phil Rozek

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I believe they are doing something shady here. They seem to be using a Jquery star rating plugin where they have selectively added a bunch of 4 and 5 star reviews. There is no option to add a review on the site.

I work with the plumbing industry and there is no way that they would have 18 reviews that were 4-5 stars. Not a chance. Plumbing has some of the most up and down reviews (even the good ones) of any business.
It is kinda shady that they only have the one testimonial showing, because the rest are hidden in the JQuery dropdown (requiring you to click if you want to see them). Google is fine with their adding testimonials to the site and marking them up as rich snippets, although a lot of businesses just cook up the testimonials; no idea whether that's the case here.
 

Linda Buquet

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Someone told me awhile back they could get their review stars to show if they kept rotating the reviews so that new ones kept showing up. I think they found a script that would do the rotation. Maybe this same on, not sure. So I guess that's what they are doing AND I guess it still works, since their stars show up.

No telling if the reviews are legit or not of course.
 

Nick.SEOSpark

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Here, i shared the technique to bring the review stars back to the local results using Schema markup.

I'm on the fence about whether my particular method is shady, as essentially, if you are pointing to a genuine testimonials page, with genuine reviews then you can rest easy.

What's certain is that it does work and it does help my clients. That is my main priority :D
 

rossicone

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Jul 24, 2012
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Hi Linda!

Do you know how Roto-Rooter is getting those additional location links under their listing? I searched them today and it looks like their star rating is gone, but the location links are still there.

I am seeing Location Links in the seven pack when searching "plastic surgery shreveport" in Google as well. I would love to have these location links coming up for our clients as well! Very cool :)

Thanks for your help!
Rachel
 

Phil Rozek

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@Rachel

Those sitelinks (as they're called) generally only show up if you rank in the top-3 in the Google+ Local results.

There's never a way to guarantee that you'll get them even if you do rank in the top few results, but you can grease the skids for Google by doing the following:

1. Make sure that the pages for which you'd like sitelinks are easily crawlable. These are usually various "Service" pages. They shouldn't be at "www.example.com/location1/services/specific-service1". Those pages should reside fairly highly in the architecture (e.g. "example.com/specific-service1").

2. Make sure the title tags aren't stuffed with a bunch of keywords. Short and simple is good.

3. Do the same for your H1s.

4. Submit an XML sitemap.
 

Nick Rink

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Jul 20, 2012
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The other thing to note in Linda's screenshot is that "Rightway Plumbing Charlotte" has a link to their Google+ Page. I saw something similar here in the UK this morning and it looks like the link appears if the business has an "enhanced" Google+ Page.

Apologise if someone has already flagged this :)
 

Linda Buquet

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The other thing to note in Linda's screenshot is that "Rightway Plumbing Charlotte" has a link to their Google+ Page. I saw something similar here in the UK this morning and it looks like the link appears if the business has an "enhanced" Google+ Page.

Apologise if someone has already flagged this :)
No apologies needed Nick and you alerted me to something. I DID just flag that in another thread BUT I thought the missing links to G+ L pages and Google only showing a link to merged G+ pages was a brand new update that just happened along with the review popover window in the SERPs.

But you just pointed out the same thing was happening in my May screenshot above.

Here's the other post with more info:
Major Update? Missing Links to Google+ Local Pages and New Review Windows
 

rossicone

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Jul 24, 2012
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@Phil

Thanks for such a timely reply! Do you think if most of the pages on a site are optimized for state wide terms (meta titles and H1s) and the search is for a specific city that this could be a reason why the sitelinks are not displaying?

I think our site is hitting all four of your points. This is the only difference that I noticed though...

Thanks!
 

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