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Strange Google Local Ranking Issue


glossolalia

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Dec 14, 2015
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Hey guys,

I'm typically able to get to the bottom of most ranking issues, but this one has me totally stumped.

My site is for a brick and mortar company in New York. Let's assume it's a jewelry store.

I called Google a few months back about a separate issue, and I got to explaining to a rather unintelligent customer service rep that the company has a brick and mortar location but it's by appointment only, not a street level walk-in. The office is staffed, but not open to the public. I don't think she quite understood and I think she assumed we have no storefront whatsoever. I didn't make much of it at the time.

At this point the site was ranking about #20 in Local for the keyword "wedding rings nyc" and #26 in organic. Fine.

About a week later, the site completely vanishes from Google local. Its ranking in organic is unchanged, but the ranking for Local is gone. Not even last. I mean gone. And that's where it still stands today.

I won't divulge the URL, but let me say that the site's backlink profile is all from top newspapers / magazines and is 100% squeaky clean. It still ranks #26 in organic and it never took a big hit, so the site isn't link penalized.

The company is located in zip code 10036 and the site is optimized for the keyword "wedding rings nyc." Now here's the interesting bit...

When you search for "wedding jeweler 10036", the site is #3 in Local.
When you search for "wedding ring jeweler 10036," the site is #5 in Local.
When you search for "wedding jeweler nyc," the site is on the 2nd page.
When you search for "wedding ring jeweler nyc," the site is on the 3rd page.

When you search for "wedding rings jeweler 10036" with the plural "s" at the end of the word "ring," the site disappears again. Gone!

If anyone has any clue as to what is going on here, I'd sincerely appreciate your input. I don't mess much with Local SEO, I'm more of an organic guy. But the local ranking of this site is critical and I'm quite at a loss for what to make of this.

Thanks all.
 

mborgelt

Local Search Expert
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Jul 22, 2012
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I have two different businesses showing in those positions but both have citation inconsistencies on the major directories and neither have a proper NAP, map, structured data or other location signals on the home page. I would start there since those are must haves. Unless the two businesses I am seeing are not the site in question.
 

JoyHawkins

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Jul 18, 2012
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To make sure i'm understanding correctly - this business is not actually a jewelry store, you were just using that as an example?

Unfortunately I can't diagnose issues without knowing the specifics of the business. There are so many possibilities out there that could be impacting it and it's kind of like randomly grabbing from a hat without being able to see the details.
 

mborgelt

Local Search Expert
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Jul 22, 2012
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You're right, Joy. He PM'd me the actual page, Joy, but I encourage you to share the details with Joy, Glassolalia, as she is great at solving ranking issues!
 

JoyHawkins

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Thanks Michael - he did.

I think the main issue is he is missing the core category that is needed to rank for the term he wants. I also suggested he remove the logo as the primary photo and replace it with a picture of the product - will probably convert way better.
 

glossolalia

Forum Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2015
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Just updating this thread for anyone who might have a similar problem come up in the future.

I followed Joy's advice and added the category to our Business page. Voila, it came back.

Joy, you're a lifesaver!
 

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