Troubleshoot: Rank High in Organic but Drop out of the Pack?

Linda Buquet

Moderator
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
14,436
A long time ago I coined the term "disconnected Place pages" or "disconnected listings".

A "disconnected listing" is when a listing ranks high in organic, but disconnects from local and drops out of the "pack".

Many of you who have taken my training know what I'm referring to and in the new video training I have an entire section devoted to how to troubleshoot ?disconnected? listings and I think I?ve posted a couple times in the forum about how to diagnose the problem too.

I have a whole section in the video training where I explain and show the process I use to go back and forth to try to isolate exactly where the problem sits. I use this method all the time in consulting when SEOs come to me for help diagnosing ranking problems. One of these days I?ll try to convert that whole video section to writing and do a step-by-step at the forum.

Phil Rozek just did a great post outlining many of the reasons this can happen.

How to Troubleshoot: Good Organic Rankings, No Google Places Rankings


Head over to take a read. Phil goes on to explain many of the reasons this can happen.

I added some comments at Phil's but wanted to share here as well 2 of the biggest problems I see.

1) Dupes to me is the most common reason listings get "disconnected" or ?detached?.

Duplicate confusion almost always causes ranking problems and can often knock you out of the pack.

NOTE: Even allowed dupes, like multiple practitioner listings at the same address, usually cause a problem unless you know how to manage them.

2) NAP confusion ? This can happen a variety of ways. Mixed NAP for 3 locations all on the same page of the web site. Then throw in a couple practitioners at each location. If all G+ L links are going to to the home page, now we have 12 Place pages all going to the same home page. She gets confused, can?t make the match and boom ? drop out of the pack. OR Local phone is on the G+L listing and 800# is the only # on the site. OR there are a lot of other variations of this theme.

Here is more detail:

How to diagnose disconnected listings.

Since I specialize in ranking troubleshooting when I do consulting, I have a whole section about how I do analyze rank drops in my new On-site Local SEO video course I just finished. And after I explain all the steps, then I do a screen share and actually take you through my process on a Dentist listing that dropped out of the pack but still ranks high in organic. (Common problem.)

It's easier to verbally explain and show, too much for me to type out right now. So here is just one small part of it I copied from my On-site Local SEO training docs.

This particular part just has to do with diagnosing what I call a disconnected listing. When it ranks high in organic but drops out of the pack.

This is also just bullets, not all the verbal explanation I do, but I think it should help to some degree.

DISCONNECTED PLACE PAGE? A business has a high organic ranking but is disconnected in blended, so the website and Place page are not connected. Here are the main reasons that this can happen. Basically it?s usually due to one of these problems on the Places side of the house.

.:. The location is way far from industry centroid

.:. Duplicate confusion (dupes often knock you out, even Dr and atty dupes)

.:. NAP confusion (800# or diff# on the site, mismatched name, mixed NAP on site for multi-locations)

.:. Penalized for GP guideline violations (Check for KW stuffing in description or other unwritten rule violations. I?ve worked on a few cases where city was repeated and once fixed, they jump back up.)

USE AOL SEARCH or STARTPAGE for 3 reasons (I explain the pros and cons of each as a research tool.)

1 - Shows PURE Google organic with NO local. Helps for competitive analysis & troubleshooting. (Do some comparisons)

2 - Shows title tags and description which G no longer shows in blended. (Helps size up competition.)

3 ? Really helpful for reverse engineering algo to see which algo is in control for the market you are working.

What do you think?

Have you ever had a disconnected listing?

What was the cause and how did you handle?
 

Phil Rozek

Local Search Expert
Joined
Jul 26, 2012
Messages
1,530
Thanks, Linda. Just gave a shout-out to you for that great point about dupes :)
 

Linda Buquet

Moderator
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
14,436
Awesome thanks Phil!

And ya I can believe you've been wanting to write that post for 2 years. It's just one of those complicated things that happens alot. You and I know it in our heads and do it all the time but it's just a big job to try to cover it all in a blog or forum post.

So kudos to you for spittin' that bad boy out!
 

Linda Buquet

Moderator
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
14,436
I just thought of a couple more things to check that often cause ranking problems and sometimes, but not always cause disconnected listings.

1) Wrong URL or redirected domain. The site is www dot Home.com[/url] but the URL in the Place page is home.com with no www - which redirects. (Or vice versa.)

OR the site in Places is bestcosmeticdentist.com but redirects to johnsmithdds.com

2) Keyword stuffed links to home in the footer or other nav of the site. Links to home should only have the anchor "home" not "Best Damn Dentist in Dallas". (This one can cause organic penalty, not really a disconnected listing BUT if organic drops to #50 you'll usually drop out of the pack too.)

And here's a brand new post that's relevant to dropping out of the pack.

Checklist for Finding Duplicate Place Pages

Oh and can't believe I didn't circle back to add this one. (So many great posts, so little time!)

HOT! Check this!

<a href="http://localsearchforum.catalystemarketing.com/google-local-important/14378-hack-check-google-local-penalties.html">Hack to Check for Google Local Penalties</a>
 

Phil Rozek

Local Search Expert
Joined
Jul 26, 2012
Messages
1,530
Great call, Linda - especially on point #1. (Sort of fits into "Explanation #8" in my post, but you fleshed it out better.)
 

Linda Buquet

Moderator
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
14,436
RELATED but broader tips here:

<a href="http://localsearchforum.catalystemarketing.com/google-local-important/14266-local-troubleshooting-best-practices.html">Local Troubleshooting Best Practices</a>
 

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