Strong fluctuation in local rankings


Elio

Forum Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2015
Messages
29
Likes
2
Hello everyone,

I would like to have your opinion on one thing: I am working on a site that recently experienced a drastic ?fluctuation? from the first page (among the top 5) to basically nowhere for one of the main keywords they were targeting for one of their most important local landing pages.

Did something change recently in the algo local-wise and I missed it?

Thanks
Elio
 
Joined
Aug 7, 2013
Messages
781
Likes
412
Hi Elio, and welcome to the forum.

If you are talking about the Local Pack, Google just swapped everything to 3 packs, so if you have been sitting at #4,5,6, and 7 you are now hidden. You might have an issue if you are seeing major fluctuations in Maps, especially if you had a considerable drop and its holding in that position.

Check out the conversation below.

Goodbye 7 Packs! Only 3 Packs with No Phone # or Address for All Local Results

If you are seeing Organic changes It depends on a number of factors. Some industries have more fluctuations than others. Also, some cities see a lot fluctuations, while others are pretty stable.

In General, rankings tend to be more stable if you are positioned in the top 5 and anything below that is turbulent. Sites are constantly shifting. Another thing I notice is Google will hammer a single keyword for that city across every website, but return to normal a few days later. You might just be experiencing a temporary fluctuation.

Also, it helps other pros if you share some details and links. Most will dig in a bit for you. You can also PM people if you are concerned about going public with your clients info.
 
Last edited:

Dave

Forum Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2012
Messages
255
Likes
79
If you are speaking the pack then it is as DustyBones suggested.

If you are speaking organic it could be one of several things:

Competition.
Your site got penalized and penalized for that critical keyword.
Could be turbulence with regard to local rankings.
 

Elio

Forum Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2015
Messages
29
Likes
2
Hi guys!
Thank you for your answers and for your welcome :)

No, I was speaking organic and not about the pack. Yeah it could be a temporary drop but this change happened a couple of weeks ago and nothing has changed since; at first I thought it could be a temporary thing as well but at this point, not so much.

I think it’s something more “stable” even though I don’t understand why; I haven’t looked into this yet, but I don’t think they did something specific to trigger a penalty like over optimizing their pages, scraping content, building awful links and stuff like that.

Also, one other thing that puzzles me is the fact that Analytics does not report any drop in traffic, which is something I would normally expect when you go from position number 4 to nothing.
Their organic traffic for that specific landing page is constant and they say they haven’t noticed any loss in clients’ enquiries, so I am not sure how interpret all this.

I also checked the GA code with Screaming Frog to make sure that there wasn't any error in tracking the site activity but the code is in all their pages and apparently everything is working fine

Any ideas? :)

Thanks
 

Colan Nielsen

Administrator
Administrator
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Messages
2,957
Likes
952
Have you checked webmaster tools for penalty related messages?

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
 
Joined
Aug 7, 2013
Messages
781
Likes
412
Elio, thanks for the PM. Make sure you send it to Joshua and Colan. Those two are oozing information :D.

What keywords did you see a change? Searching "Green House cleaning Services City, State" I see you at #5 and #6. Searching "Green House cleaning Services City" you are #8. It might be that you dropped in a Keyword that isn't bringing in traffic.

I see you at #6 in maps, but you are showing a name that has a modifier on it "Your Business Name - Domestic House Cleaning" Google was allowing this for a bit, but Linda and other pros suggested to avoid the practice.
 

Elio

Forum Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2015
Messages
29
Likes
2
Hello guys and thank you for taking the time to answer :)

So the URL is www. sparklingcleanagency. com (I have to write it this way, because I just realized that as soon as I paste the URL it pastes a list of keywords instead and I don't like that) and, as I was saying to Dustybones, they were ranking quite high for keywords like Maid Service, Professional House Cleaning, Home Cleaning, and House cleaning and House cleaning Service in the pack (of course I am talking about the SF area here)

As for Webmaster Tools I am waiting for them to send me the login details.....they are trying to retrieve them becuase I think they lost them or something.
Anyway, checking for Google notifications will be the next thing for sure, because at least by looking at it, it looks like a penalty

Thank you very much
Elio
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
1,427
Likes
285
Hello guys and thank you for taking the time to answer :)

So the URL is www. sparklingcleanagency. com (I have to write it this way, because I just realized that as soon as I paste the URL it pastes a list of keywords instead and I don't like that) and, as I was saying to Dustybones, they were ranking quite high for keywords like Maid Service, Professional House Cleaning, Home Cleaning, and House cleaning and House cleaning Service in the pack (of course I am talking about the SF area here)

As for Webmaster Tools I am waiting for them to send me the login details.....they are trying to retrieve them becuase I think they lost them or something.
Anyway, checking for Google notifications will be the next thing for sure, because at least by looking at it, it looks like a penalty

Thank you very much
Elio
It's not an organic penalty. You ranked 6th for me in https://www.google.com/search?q=house+cleaning+san+francisco&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8 - you would be on at least the 3rd page or worse if you were penalized.

Looks like you are a victim of the home services beta in SF. Click on "More house cleaners to view or contact" and you'll see it's only the verified, trusted, etc. Did your house cleaner go through this process or get contacted?

So, this is happening for real? I hope it's not a pay to play method but more of a higher standard method, meaning you can get verified/trusted for free. Does anybody have any more details? If this is purely pay to play, this might be the first big misstep from Google I've seen in user experience.

Also, Google now has consumer support: https://support.google.com/ads/contact/consumer_support. Interesting, no?

P.S. Check out the site links Yelp is getting now: https://www.google.com/search?q=house+cleaning+san+francisco&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8 - goes to individual businesses. Is this new?
 
Joined
Aug 7, 2013
Messages
781
Likes
412
...

Looks like you are a victim of the home services beta in SF. Click on "More house cleaners to view or contact" and you'll see it's only the verified, trusted, etc. Did your house cleaner go through this process or get contacted?
So In maps I see the site is Ranking #2 for "house cleaning san francisco", #4 Maid Service San Francisco, but missing in Is this "Trusted Pack" now.

Elio, are you sure your not thinking of the Local pack change as well as being a victim of this Beta in SF? Like Joshua said, this isn't organic and that is why your traffic is not changing. You are ranking good in Google Maps and organic, but because Google is forcing this additional verification process with businesses in this industry, it has knocked you out of the pack. It would be interesting to see what would happen if you go through that additional process with Google.
 

Elio

Forum Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2015
Messages
29
Likes
2
Hi all :)
The thing is that ?house cleaning san Francisco? is fine for organic and so is ?House cleaning?, but for ?House cleaning? they were also showing in the pack and now they are not.

However, my concern is about ?Home cleaning?. Please consider that I don?t live in san Francisco, nor in the US, so to have a more precise idea of what?s on Google there, I use the Moz toolbar set to specific locations. As of now, I see that they are ranking on the first page for ?home cleaning san Francisco? but they are nowhere for ?home cleaning? (with the location set as ?san Francisco?).
I assumed that Google could figure out the user?s location even without typing the area in the query, so I thought that typing ?home cleaning?, being in SF, could return different results than typing ?home cleaning? say in Seattle.

In the same way I thought the typing ?home cleaning san Francisco? and ?home cleaning? (being in San Francisco) could return different results and, at least from what I see on this ?simulation?, this is the case.
And this is my concern: they were ranking just fine for ?Home cleaning? just a couple of week ago, and now they are not?.

Anyway, I will check with them about their Home Service ad/profile (thanks for pointing that out Joshua, that?s totally new for me!) and report what they say :)
 

Elio

Forum Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2015
Messages
29
Likes
2
Hello everyone,

turns out they weren't listed in the Home Service Ads thing but interestingly enough they had a meeting yesterday with the Google guys to be listed there.

Will let you know how it went when I know more

Cheers
Elio
 

Local Search Forum


Weekly Digest
Subscribe/Unsubscribe


Google Product Exert

@LocalSearchLink

Join Our Facebook Group

Top