Places Analytics Problem: Impressions, Actions Dropped

Linda Buquet

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Have had lots reports from clients, consultants here at the Local Search Community AND users at the Google forum about analytics problems, so wanted to start a post to keep everyone updated in one place.

I suspect there is either something buggy OR there is an update of some sort happening.

I'll be escalating to Google to see if they will tell us what's up and will report back here when I have news. So stay tuned.


Here is the advice I've given so far and below that are several reports and convos about the issue.

1st of all Places analytics are pretty hit and miss and I seldom even look at them. They are often buggy so that could be the case here. So if you are still ranking and the listing is live and working right, I would not worry too much about the stats.

First I'd check to be sure the listing is working right. If you click view from dashboard does it go to the correct listing?

Next I'd check to see if the ranking dropped. If it has, there are many many reasons that could have happened and we'd need to investigate further.

But if the listing properly resolves and it's still ranking, then I would not worry too much.
Take 2 beers and call me in the morning, as Mike would say.


Other posts and convos about the problem, here and at the G forum:

Total Impressions dropped for all my clients!

Listings actions removed

And here is one of several I just found, that's very informative, where other Google Top Contributors pretty much share my same opinion and have similar speculations.

Impressions have dramatically dropped across multiple locations since Feb 19th and we no longer appear under various catagories for no apparent reason.

So stay tuned to this thread so I can add updates as I get them in one place instead of cross posting at all the indiv help threads.
 

m_j_gregory

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Aug 13, 2012
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Hey Linda,

Thanks for sharing.

Our team has been seeing this same thing happening and have been seeing it for much longer (even up to a year ago when this was brought up). We have inherited the same beliefs as you have provided:

-We rarely ever look at the Places dashboard data as, like you said, it is very hit and miss.
-Ensure the listing is routing correctly from the dashboard.
-Ensure the listing is showing in targeted searches, furthermore, make sure no dramatic drop has happened.

If all data aligns correctly, there shouldn't be a major reason to pursue any dramatic course of action. So, yes, like you pointed out, take a note from Professor Maps' book! :) As I'm sure you know, Google even provides the following blip, "Google does not guarantee the accuracy of these statistics." on the Places dashboard:

Places-Analytics-Disclaimer.jpg

Just thought I'd chime in, thanks for sharing!

Thanks again,
Matt

 

Alana Balbes

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Mar 5, 2013
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I currently have over 50 listings that I manage with this issue. Each month, our company usually sends out screen shots of our clients of their actions/impressions so you can understand my frustration that those reports can't even go out right now. Do we expect this to last for a long time?

My question is...should we just tell our clients that this is a Google bug? I think letting them know that they're still ranking on Google will help, but our monthly screen shots to them always verify to them that we're constantly managing their account.

Hopefully they come back soon & hopefully Google is making some new POSITIVE changes.

Thanks for your help! This forum really helped my co-workers understand that it's not just happening to us.
 

Linda Buquet

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Hi Alana and welcome. We have TONS of similar posts that are helpful and are usually 1st to alert when updates, bugs or other problems hit. So be sure you and your team grab our RSS feed.

I was just coming to let everyone know that I just escalated this to Google, so will let you know when I get a reply if they tell me anything I can share.

But as I said before this just happens sometimes. So even though frustrating, at least you can show them this thread so they know it's Google and not anything you've done.
 
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SOOOO happy to see you post this - i've seen the same thing happen to several clients and it all started around feb 22nd! I wasn't sure what was going on because in places scout they still rank and when i do searches they rank! Anyway, i will keep a close eye on this thread - as always...thanks!
 
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One thing i was surprised to read in this thread was that the places dashboard/impressions etc didn't affect ranking that much - i've seen just the opposite...when a listing 'disappears" off the analytics dashboard, the site visits usually have a dramatic drop as well...does anyone else ever notice that?
 

Linda Buquet

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One thing i was surprised to read in this thread was that the places dashboard/impressions etc didn't affect ranking that much - i've seen just the opposite...when a listing 'disappears" off the analytics dashboard, the site visits usually have a dramatic drop as well...does anyone else ever notice that?
Well I think you may be looking at it backwards. Don't think the ranking drops due to analytics. Think it's the opposite - the analytics go south as a result of a problem and/or a ranking drop.

So if there is a problem and the listing is broken OR gets a ranking penalty OR a dupe crops up that drops it out of blended so it no longer ranks in local - then that will equal decreased visibility, which will result in lower impressions/actions - or in bad cases even complete flat line.

But what sometimes happens and appears to be what's happening to most right now, is that the listing is fine the stats just drop or die.

If it only happens on one of your listings, that could tell you that listing MAY have problems. If happens on ALL your listings and no one else's that could be something you are consistently doing wrong. But if it's happening to lots of people including high end pros that I believe are probably doing everything right, then it's not you or a listing problem. Places stats are just funky which happens quite often.
 

JoshuaMackens

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Sep 12, 2012
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I wouldn't worry about this at all. My clients are seeing the same issue.

It's one of two things:

1) G+L is showing up a lot less for queries (highly doubt it)

2) It's a bug (highly likely)

One particular client I got interested in and started researching his Google Analytics data. His visits to his site are still the same (increased a little actually). However, we have a strong presence in natural organic as well. However, doing searches that usually bring up G+L listings are still doing just that.

It's a bug, don't worry about it. Also, don't use the Places analytics. While interesting to look at, they're not representative of the whole picture.
 

Linda Buquet

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Is anyone still having problems? Someone on the Google forum that's pretty sharp and I assume she's in compliance and everything and still ranks #1 for in a highly competitive market says her stats are still flatlined.

Plus there are bugaboos in owner responses to reviews.
 
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Still seeing issues across the board with the analytics almost zeroed out. Something interesting that hasn't been discussed yet is I am now seeing actions increasing even though impressions have fallen.

 

Linda Buquet

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I have not seen it mentioned in this latest rash of stats problem reports, but I've mentioned it before.

Vanessa once said: "Are there other businesses located at that address? It's not about directions to your business, but directions to that address."

Could that fit? Are the businesses in a strip mall or office building with other businesses?
 

Alana Balbes

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Mar 5, 2013
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Here's an example of what I'm seeing in my dashboard:


What kind of links should we be sending?

Thanks Linda!

 
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I have at least 5 clients that the exact same thing has happened to and all right around feb 19th. All different types of businesses - all brick and mortar....my screen shots would look like Melissa's.
 

Linda Buquet

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Here's an example of what I'm seeing in my dashboard:
What kind of links should we be sending?
Oh dear Alana! What she needed was links to the LIVE listing. The G+ L pages.

BUT I'm glad you posted screenshot of dashboard because what you have is a TOTALLY different problem. I problem I was talking about is where the stats on the stats screen drop and the graph sort of flatlines. Like Melissa's screenshot in post #11 above.

The dashboard you are showing looks like what we call PURGATORY which is a severe penalty state that's beyond "suspended and usually means the account is totally dead.

Please start a new thread in the help section titled: Are these listings in purgatory? And repost that screenshot and any other history/problems details. As well as links to the listings if they are still live. So we can have a dedicated thread for you and I can ask you more Qs if needed after I take a closer look.
 
Last edited:

Linda Buquet

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I have at least 5 clients that the exact same thing has happened to and all right around feb 19th. All different types of businesses - all brick and mortar....my screen shots would look like Melissa's.
Shonda if you have a couple links to share for Jade to show engineers it could help.

Thanks!
 
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ok - i will...to confirm I should post the live g+ link....when i said my screenshot would look like Melissa's i was referring to post #11
 

Linda Buquet

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ok - i will...to confirm I should post the live g+ link....when i said my screenshot would look like Melissa's i was referring to post #11
Sorry shonda, I knew you were referring to #11.

My reply was to Alana, but as I was writing it your post got in the middle so it looked like my reply was to you. I edited it now that I see your post sneaked in there. :)

But, yes link to the live G+ L page.
 

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