Tons of Reviews = One Box?


JoyHawkins

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I have seen this a couple times now and wanted to see if anyone else had come across this.

If you search "State Farm Boulder CO", there is an agent there with 122 reviews who has a one-box. There are 15 State Farm agents in Boulder. If you search just "state farm boulder" you don't get the same thing.

I've seen this in quite a few cities (all State Farm examples) and was curious if anyone has also noticed this?

It's a bit odd that every time I see the one-box it's ONLY with the state abbreviation included in the search.

Does having abnormally more reviews eventually get you a one-box?
 

DanLeibson

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I can comment with a pretty high degree of certainty that reviews don't get you a One Box.

Can't talk to much about it yet unfortunately.
 

JoyHawkins

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Just to clarify, this is a branded search and since branded searches and non-branded searches do rank factors differently, I was wondering specifically if anyone had ever noticed this with a branded query that should return SEVERAL locations.

I've also never seen it for a non-branded search similar to you Dave.

Dan - do you see anything else that you think would cause the one-box? I checked for some of the obvious things like backlinks/exact anchor text. The websites for all these agents are also almost identical so it's most likely not on-site.
 

DanLeibson

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Dan - do you see anything else that you think would cause the one-box? I checked for some of the obvious things like backlinks/exact anchor text. The websites for all these agents are also almost identical so it's most likely not on-site.
Like I said, I can't really get into this yet but it's almost certainly related to links and the site (in general).

In your specific instance that may be slightly different because you are looking at something I don't think is representative. To me the questions isn't what causes a one box, it's why does one location, out of several for the same brand, get the one box versus the others. I can't really speak to that exact situation.

If I had to bet, I would bet that at it's core it's location based (proximity etc). However, Google screws this up all the time as it's a huge problem for multi-location national brands, so who knows if this is an example of them getting it right or screwing it up.

Fun times!
 

Phil Rozek

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@Joy

One-boxes are more likely to show up for highly specific search terms: either for niche keywords, or when the location is very well-defined in the query (e.g. ?Boulder CO?).

When you search only for ?Boulder,? Google isn?t yet confident enough you?re looking in Boulder COLORADO. (There are other Boulders in the US: List of cities named Boulder - US Zip Code database) They?re confident enough to show a 3-pack - because chances are you?re looking in CO - but not confident enough to show a one-box unless you make it absolutely clear you?re looking in CO.

Once Google?s sufficiently confident you?re looking in Boulder CO, the question becomes: who?s the most-prominent State Farm agent there? In this case, I?m guessing Tammy shows up because of some combination of (1) links and (2) the fact that many of her Google reviews include a mention of ?State Farm.?

In my experience, reviews won?t get you a one-box, but they will help your rankings for various terms, and in some cases ranking for those terms might mean you get a one-box.
 
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Interesting. When I set the search location to Boulder, CO in BrightLocal's results checker tool, rather than just searching by city name, I don't get a one-box. I'm trying to replicate it with another business, but I can't quite get the same scale. If I do "McDonalds Golden CO" I get a one-box. There are actually two McDonald's in Golden. I also tried "Allstate Golden CO" and got a one-box. Again, there are three Allstate Agents in Golden.

EDIT: I just found a one-box for "state farm durango co" that doesn't appear without "co". There are four open State Farm offices in Durango and one closed one. The one getting a one-box has four reviews, but another one has 41 reviews with a 4.9 rating and it's linked to a website with an exact match domain. You would think that is the one that would get a one-box if any.
 

Tim Colling

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As a side note, I wondered whether the insurance agent named in Joy's original post had any yelp reviews. She does, but only seven.

It's also worth noting, just for curiosity's sake, where her website's social media links point to: in all cases, they point to the main corporate pages for State Farm, not for her office.

Also, this may not mean anything but it looks like her domain's registration settings all refer to this email address: sfdomain@mysfdomain.com

Not sure whether any of that matters, I just like to look at things like that and wonder whether they are influencing any of this stuff in the SERPS.
 

theitsage

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The number of reviews doesn't trigger a 1-box, the content of the review does. This applies to both branded and non-branded queries.
 

JoyHawkins

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Hey Guys,

Thank you so much for all of your responses. I've seen dozens of these for State Farm lately.

Dillon - your example is perfect. I bet the reason why Wendy isn't outranking Jay is because that closed listing is for her address + phone. I bet if I got it moved, she'd probably populate the one-box.

To make things more confusing, a couple weeks ago Ed Forster had a one-box for "State Farm Frisco TX" and he has 0 reviews. Of course now the box is gone but it was there for several solid weeks. I don't see these "sticking" long term.

To rule out a few other theories:

- Tammy doesn't have the most citations
- Tammy doesn't have the most reviews on Yelp (compare: Joe Chrisman - State Farm Insurance Agent - 10 Photos - 1722 14th Street - Boulder, CO - Reviews - Phone Number - Yelp with Tammy L Sandoval - State Farm Insurance Agent - Insurance - 1400 28th St - Boulder, CO - Reviews - Photos - Phone Number - Yelp with Helen Wagner - State Farm Insurance Agent - 5360 Arapahoe Ave - Boulder, CO - Reviews - Photos - Phone Number - Yelp)
- She has barely any "other" types of links (other than citations) other than this one: State Farm - Tammy Sandoval | Tech Edge


I also think it's possible that CTR could be in play here. I would have for sure thought it was review content but Ed's situation made me really confused.
 

DanLeibson

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To rule out a few other theories:

- Tammy doesn't have the most citations
- Tammy doesn't have the most reviews on Yelp (compare: Joe Chrisman - State Farm Insurance Agent - 10 Photos - 1722 14th Street - Boulder, CO - Reviews - Phone Number - Yelp with Tammy L Sandoval - State Farm Insurance Agent - Insurance - 1400 28th St - Boulder, CO - Reviews - Photos - Phone Number - Yelp with Helen Wagner - State Farm Insurance Agent - 5360 Arapahoe Ave - Boulder, CO - Reviews - Photos - Phone Number - Yelp)
- She has barely any "other" types of links (other than citations) other than this one: State Farm - Tammy Sandoval | Tech Edge


I also think it's possible that CTR could be in play here. I would have for sure thought it was review content but Ed's situation made me really confused.
But remember, the way search results are ordered it isn't one thing, it's several in combination coupled with the competitive environment of those terms in those markets. So even if Tammy doesn't have the most citations, most of the time it could be the most citations that trigger a one box instead of a branded pack. So it's really impossible to rule out theories by only looking at the search algo in a small scale, as there is a lot more nuance happening. I think we all, myself included, forget about this sometimes in the way we discuss what is likely effecting search rankings.
 

JoyHawkins

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Okay maybe I worded that wrong. I wasn't trying to state that having the most citations will never get you a one-box, I was pointing out she doesn't have the most. She has 91, Joe Chrisman has 100, Kelly Eyen has 93.

I'm trying to find patterns in the one-boxes I've seen in the last couple months and have been unable to. I'll post more examples as I find them. Colan posted one a while ago which is now gone as well.


They don't appear to stick long-term which is what made me wonder if CTR was part of it. It's something obviously I'd never be able to trace if they had 100 random ppl going and clicking on them.
 

Colan Nielsen

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Joy, did you analyze the content of the Google and Yelp reviews for correlation between the review content and one-box being displayed?
 

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