Google+ Local Domination - How is this being done?

22 replies
Does anyone know how or why some local listings only show one result, instead of showing the standard 3 to 7 results.

For example if you Google 'Lewisville Taxi' it only shows one Google+ Local result, and if you Google 'Lewisville Taxi Cab' it shows the normal 7 listings.

This would obviously be a great thing for the one company that is showing up, but how is it being done?

Curious if anyone knows about this technique, or what's going on here.

Thanks!
#domination #google #local
  • There are different opinions. Personally, I believe it has to do with search volume / demand as well as available businesses to feature.

    So if you're only seeing a couple of listings verses a search term that pulls up 7, guess which search term you should target?

    Further, there's no way to take a term that brings up 7 and then somehow affect Google so you're the only one showing. That just isn't possible.
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    • Profile picture of the author Tom Sawyer
      Originally Posted by Kung Fu Backlinks View Post

      Further, there's no way to take a term that brings up 7 and then somehow affect Google so you're the only one showing. That just isn't possible.
      I would have thought the same thing but the reality is different as this is exactly what is happening.

      The search 'lewisville taxi' use to bring up the normal 7 results. It now only brings up one result.

      I even called and talked to the business owner who is showing up and blocking all his competition and he claimed it was some special code that is being used and that he knows someone at Google he is helping him.

      Either way it indeed is blocking other listings from showing up, that once did show up.
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    • Profile picture of the author hustlenflow
      how can you claim to be a google+ expert if you dont know the definite answer. There are no opinions on this topic. Not trying to talk you down by any means, but come on. Its a pretty simple answer if you know google local well.
      Originally Posted by Kung Fu Backlinks View Post

      There are different opinions. Personally, I believe it has to do with search volume / demand as well as available businesses to feature.

      So if you're only seeing a couple of listings verses a search term that pulls up 7, guess which search term you should target?

      Further, there's no way to take a term that brings up 7 and then somehow affect Google so you're the only one showing. That just isn't possible.
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      • Profile picture of the author bluesteele
        I am anxious to hear what Linda has to say, but like so much else in the realm of SEO, I'm not too sure there is a definitive answer. At best, recurring cases and some educated speculation. Just my .02
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        • Profile picture of the author 9999
          Sounds like things are becoming more difficult. Am interested to see how this turns out.
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      • Profile picture of the author DABK
        So, what's the "pretty simple answer?"

        Originally Posted by hustlenflow View Post

        how can you claim to be a google+ expert if you dont know the definite answer. There are no opinions on this topic. Not trying to talk you down by any means, but come on. Its a pretty simple answer if you know google local well.
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    • Profile picture of the author joesmith123
      Originally Posted by Kung Fu Backlinks View Post

      There are different opinions. Personally, I believe it has to do with search volume / demand as well as available businesses to feature.

      So if you're only seeing a couple of listings verses a search term that pulls up 7, guess which search term you should target?

      Further, there's no way to take a term that brings up 7 and then somehow affect Google so you're the only one showing. That just isn't possible.
      this has happened twice before in Denver. A colleague of mine was experiencing similar situations while trying to rank a local moving company. perhaps not someone at google, but likely a overqualified blackhat.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ricardo Furtado
    I guess only Google knows the answer.
    All the best. Regards.
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    Ricardo Furtado

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  • Profile picture of the author reboot38
    I even called and talked to the business owner who is showing up and blocking all his competition and he claimed it was some special code that is being used and that he knows someone at Google he is helping him.
    I'd like to know more about this person at Google...
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  • Profile picture of the author bluesteele
    I think to say something is not possible when it comes to Google might be a bit rash. Who knows for sure. How do you figure it out, test test and test some more. If indeed (and I would agree) it is query volume based, someone ought to send fake queries...100s per mo from local, but unique IPs. Wouldn't be too hard to do.

    I think it might also have to do with Google just messing around with things. Often I will have a one box one day, and next week it'll be a full pack.

    Another thought is perhaps it has something to do with the amount of listing trying to get in that pack. If it isn't a niche chock full of businesses, then maybe...

    Who knows. It is all speculation. Your best bet is to target a wide range of terms, and so when Goog does go one pack, you are covered. Likewise, get your organic up, because if you are in position three and Google goes 1 pack, lights out.

    Good luck!
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    • Hey guys it's a problem with the Google algo.

      I've been fighting with Google over this for 6 months now!
      It's a big deal!


      Attack of the Bad Google Local One-Boxes!

      Blumenthal has blogged about it a bunch too!

      Basically they cranked the algo too high that gives a one pack (or one-box) to a brand.

      Alpine Plumbing should only show a one box because I am searching for a specific business.

      However the algo is giving a one box to a single business when you search generically for San Diego Plumber or Los Angeles Injury Attorney.

      Usually those are fake listings or fake KW stuffed names that should not rank at all. Yet they are the ONLY business ranking and knock all the honest businesses out of the pack.

      See pages and pages of reports at the link above and screenshots that illustrate the problem.
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      Linda Buquet :: Google+ Local Specialist and Google Top Contributor
      ADVANCED Google+ Local Training :: Also offering White Label Local SEO
      Latest Google Local News, Tips & Tricks

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  • Profile picture of the author bluesteele
    I'd be curious to hear if it is a spammy listing that has caused the one box for the OP. Though I can't think of an example off hand, I can think of cases previously (in the last 6 months) where I have seen a one box, and I don't recall the business listed there to be in "spammy" per se. Do you only see spammy listings occupying one boxes for generic queries Linda? Or is this just something you've seen often. Sounds like there is there might be an interesting study in there...Thanks!
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    • Originally Posted by bluesteele View Post

      Though I can't think of an example off hand, I can think of cases previously (in the last 6 months) where I have seen a one box, and I don't recall the business listed there to be in "spammy" per se. Do you only see spammy listings occupying one boxes for generic queries Linda? Or is this just something you've seen often. Sounds like there is there might be an interesting study in there...Thanks!
      If you look at all the examples in my post above there is a mixture. Blumenthal has blogged about it several times and calls many of these listings Hummingbird guano. (Sh*t.)

      Many are old crusty dead spam listings. Fake names, dead website, disconnected phone. I show many of those examples in my post. One listing I called to see if it was valid. A mom answered and said that was her daughter's phone #.

      They have multiple violations and ALL they had going for them was City KW in name. But of course there are one-box cases where it's a legit listing and the name is really Denver Alpine Plumbers and it scored a one box for Denver Plumbers.

      HOWEVER BIG HEADS UP! If you missed my post from yesterday,
      Google just changed the rules and now ALLOWS you to add City or KW to business name.
      (Very stupid IMO.)

      So now the one-box problem might get even worse.

      NEWS HERE:
      GUIDELINE CHANGE - City or Keyword in Places Title Allowed Now


      However I would not go crazy and change any listings yet.
      Read all my warnings in post #11.
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      Linda Buquet :: Google+ Local Specialist and Google Top Contributor
      ADVANCED Google+ Local Training :: Also offering White Label Local SEO
      Latest Google Local News, Tips & Tricks

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  • @hustlenflow - LOL ok, whatever.

    Clearly, I wasn't talking about one-box anomalies, but rather search terms that serve up packs of less than 7. There are many search terms that bring up packs smaller than 7 that are legitimate listings - ie: not single listings resulting from an over-zealous algo. Different situation altogether.

    The pattern I've noticed is that these smaller packs happen in smaller areas or low-volume searches, or a combination of the two.

    But... Now that I've read the OP again more carefully, it seems he was asking specifically about these one-box situations, so my above comment wasn't 100% relevant to his question.
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  • Profile picture of the author KMalo
    So what I take from this thread is that none of the google places experts know exactly why the one box domination is happening, nor how to replicate the one box domination effect?

    Would be great if somebody did know how to replicate this effect. I'm willing to pay of course if anybody cares to share the knowledge. PM me if so.
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    • Profile picture of the author hustlenflow
      Originally Posted by KMalo View Post

      So what I take from this thread is that none of the google places experts know exactly why the one box domination is happening, nor how to replicate the one box domination effect?

      Would be great if somebody did know how to replicate this effect. I'm willing to pay of course if anybody cares to share the knowledge. PM me if so.
      The people that do know don't say because it would become saturated and then almost ineffective. One person says how on this thread, then one member takes the info and makes it into a high selling WSO. Then every offline marketer on this forum is using the technique and it is no longer helpful.

      I would love to share how, but seeing how I am helping companies rank with little effort because of this knowledge it would just end up hurting me in the long run. I honestly probably wouldnt even sell an ebook containing this info for $1,000 a pop. Best I can tell you is if you know how SEO works, combined with a little creativity, you shouldn't have a problem ranking on local. Best of luck!
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  • KMalo, you should invest your time in learning the legit ways to rank a business. You'll have real and sustainable growth that way. Dedicating time to exploits won't help you for long.
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  • @Tom - didn't mean to direct that at you. I should have addressed KMalo. Sorry about that, mate.
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