When the eff will G remove biz title as a signal?! (small rant ahead)


Blake Denman

Forum Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2013
Messages
143
Likes
55
[rant]
Like a lot of you, I see GMB listings every day that violate Google's guidelines. Usually they are adding keyword rich modifiers to the business title or the business name is an exact match of the keyword.

I have a client in a competitive industry with a mid-size metro area. On one of his biggest keywords he is ranking #4 in the maps, bummer. The 3 ranking businesses either have a modifier added or the business name is an exact match of the keyword.

So I decided to run a test. I added a modifier to his listing just to see if there was any push. Bam, less than 2 days later and he gets bumped up to #2. Are you freaking kidding me?!

Seriously, when will G wise up and not make the business name a ranking factor.

[/rant]
 

Linda Buquet

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
14,433
Likes
4,283
I ditto your rant Blake. I've felt the same for a long time.

But just now in thinking about it practically from the perspective of how an algo would handle it... How would/could it work?

Google is looking for the most relevant results, right? If you search for green widgets it will rank sites high that are about green widgets and a site like greenwidgetsrock.com would likely rank high. (Providing the site had it's ducks in a row.)

If you search for Bellevue Chiropractor, you'll see most of the top sites are an exact or partial match company name and domain name. One I noticed that appears to be keyword stuffed is "Nu Star Bellevue Chiropractor". So I guess there would need to be an extra pass made by the local algo to check the name on the listing against citations or something? That would be hard to analyze on the fly it seems. In this case they could just ck copyright on the site and see the name is NuStar Chiropractic Clinic. But if people knew Google was checking they'd just change the name on the site I imagine.

Other ideas about how the algo could quickly, on the fly, determine which names were KW stuffed???
 

JoyHawkins

Administrator
Administrator
Joined
Jul 18, 2012
Messages
2,163
Likes
1,141
I don't see them removing it due to what Linda said but there is a simple/quick fix to this - start making edits to the ones that are spamming via MapMaker and level out the playing field! I do it all the time. I hate just as much as you do and it feels amazing and thrilling to see justice when I get those edits approved :)
 

Blake Denman

Forum Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2013
Messages
143
Likes
55
Maybe if they just started enforcing the guidelines a lot of spam would automatically be filtered out. Most of these keyword rich businesses operate under a completely different business name and don't have a DBA set up.

Joy, I'll have to do some reporting, thanks!
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
1,374
Likes
245
They should look at the content of the website and content of the pages of the backlinks over business name. It's like using an exact match domain. It should help some, but not as much as it does. It's turned way too far up.

I have a CPA that ranks at the top for tax prep, payroll, accounting, etc. But for CPA? Not even in the top 7 on maps (even though it's our main term targeted on our homepage and our primary category on GMB) because 7 Joe Blows down the road who do zero internet marketing or SEO have "CPA" in their business names.

Exasperating to say the least.

You know by at least their categories what what a business is, not to mention the factors I mentioned above.

This signal is overdue for a power throttle.
 

HoosierBuff

Forum Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2013
Messages
191
Likes
32
Here is what I think is weird - if consistency in Business name so important then:

- How could Blake have improved rank so quickly by adding the keyword to the title? Wouldn't this mess up the name consistency?
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
1,374
Likes
245
Here is what I think is weird - if consistency in Business name so important then:

- How could Blake have improved rank so quickly by adding the keyword to the title? Wouldn't this mess up the name consistency?
Honestly, I'm starting to think consistency isn't all it's cracked up to be. It feels like you shouldn't have completely different addresses, or phones, or anything, but if it's close, you're good.

I think this is a good example of that.
 

mborgelt

Local Search Expert
Joined
Jul 22, 2012
Messages
467
Likes
148
I agree with Joy on this one. While it's certainly disappointing getting dissed by Google, using MapMaker is a great way to put the magnifying glass on this sort of thing and it's a novel approach that our client's generally love. I think in some spaces a site could make some great jumps merely by cleaning up spammy listings within maps. I battled with this a couple of months ago and while it took two weeks, the listing was updated and put in its proper place.

I will also echo Joshua on the need to be granular with citation consistency. We have seen several cases where Google "assumes" correlation and rankings aren't effected by slight inconsistencies.
 

accessted

Forum Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
39
Likes
4
Is there a guide to Map maker so I can adjust the KW stuffing of competitors?

Never used Map maker and Like Joy idea :)

Also what if the business is not in Map Maker?
 

Linda Buquet

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
14,433
Likes
4,283
Hi Ted,

Map Maker is kinda tricky and I don't know of a guide. Plus anyone with service area set up and address hidden (like most locksmiths should) they won't show up in MM anyway.

So best and easiest way to edit, is "edit detail"s right on the G+ L page OR on the listing in maps. Editing that way is like an easier interface/front door to MM and but the edit is still going through MM.
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
1,374
Likes
245
Check out this SERP for "air conditioning service in Nashville":

https://www.google.com/search?num=1...ille&oq=air+conditioning+service+in+nashville

Only 7 companies in the local results all with AC service in their name somewhere except 1 that just has "air" in it (somewhat partial match) and 1 that is the biggest branded company in the area (Hiller).

What's the #1 result?

Air Conditioning Service, Inc. of course.
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
1,374
Likes
245
Have you submitted edits to remove the fake ones?
Not sure any of them are fake. You would think the first one was but when you look at their site, it seems they actually went out of their way to brand themselves as that company. One can only hope they didn't do that for SEO reasons as my hope is Google will surely turn down the heat on that signal soon.

Also, I don't personally report listings. I think it's smart to do but I just haven't. I like to try and beat them anyway. "Try" being the keyword :)
 

JoyHawkins

Administrator
Administrator
Joined
Jul 18, 2012
Messages
2,163
Likes
1,141
I think trying to beat them is like competing against someone in the Olympics who is taking steroids. Gives them a very unfair advantage ;)
 

JoyHawkins

Administrator
Administrator
Joined
Jul 18, 2012
Messages
2,163
Likes
1,141
Well then...I would encourage you to start submitting edits to remove them :) These listings do no one any good (other than the business spamming). They don't help consumers and they definitely don't help your client.

I feel like the only way we will get anywhere with the spam problem is if more SEOs get on board with fighting spam on behalf of their clients. My 2 cents anyway.
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
1,374
Likes
245
Well then...I would encourage you to start submitting edits to remove them :) These listings do no one any good (other than the business spamming). They don't help consumers and they definitely don't help your client.

I feel like the only way we will get anywhere with the spam problem is if more SEOs get on board with fighting spam on behalf of their clients. My 2 cents anyway.
I agree in the sense it gives a very powerful advantage :) I also understand your point about drawing attention to the issue.

I'm still interested in trying to beat them without it but I don't disparage those who do report them.

It's like playing basketball. Sometimes the refs just aren't calling things your way. So you're playing the other team plus the refs. I can either complain a lot about it or I can figure out how to play better, smarter, and harder and win whether the refs are calling the game against us or for us. It just makes me stronger.

This is just a personal mindset of course but it's served me well in life :)
 

JoyHawkins

Administrator
Administrator
Joined
Jul 18, 2012
Messages
2,163
Likes
1,141
If your comparison would mean the refs = Google than consider this to be a game without refs sitting around with sunglasses on (sorry, I can't resist a good analogy) because the automated algorithm doesn't catch like 80% of spam. It only gets caught through humans seeing it. I have very little faith in the spam algorithm. It fails...a lot because a human eye is needed to outsmart the spammers. Unfortunately it's probably not in Google's best interests to load up their team with more and more staff since this is an unpaid product so it really comes down to users who do this as a hobby, business owners, and marketing professionals as being the ones who report it.

Just for fun, I have some fake listings I just leave alone to see if they ever disappear on their own. I finally gave up on one and removed it after being there for 5 years. It ranked in the 3-pack for a competitive term in New York City.
 

theitsage

Forum Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2015
Messages
56
Likes
16
I totally agree with Joy about how out-of-control spam is in the Local pack. SEOs should do more to not only help their clients but also the consumers in general.

It's understandable these tasks take time and may not be billable. I can tell you first hand how satisfying it is when you suggest an edit on spam listings and they got approved. :D
 

Similar threads


Local Search Forum


Weekly Digest
Subscribe/Unsubscribe


Google Product Exert

@LocalSearchLink

Join Our Facebook Group

Top