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The Most Screwed Up Local SERP on Google You’ll Ever See

Tony Leary of Catography Marketing shared this story with me and it was such a good one I had to post it.

He worked with a tree service company in Tampa, FL which relocated from Issaquah, WA to Tampa, FL. When they moved, they decided to update their address in the Google My Business (GMB) dashboard, only it wasn’t done properly (the map marker was dragged instead of letting it move naturally). Tony was able to fix that part but what was surprising weeks later was when he was checking on their Google maps rankings and saw them ranking in Issaquah still even with a Tampa address. Check out Letter C in the picture below.

Moore Smith in Issaquah and Tampa

This happened due to the fact that there are actually 2 map markers and one of the 2 did not update with this move.

The one that is attached the place label moved just fine and that’s why you see Tampa showing up for their city name. The one the directions uses appears to be the most important one for ranking and it’s the one that only Google can manipulate.

The good news is that unlike many Local SEO problems, this one is an easy fix and only involves a call to the Google My Business phone support team.

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Joy Hawkins

Joy is the owner of the Local Search Forum, LocalU, and Sterling Sky, a Local SEO agency in Canada & the USA. She has been working in the industry since 2006, writes for publications such as Search Engine Land, and enjoys speaking regularly at marketing conferences such as MozCon, LocalU, Pubcon, SearchLove, and State of Search. You can find her on Twitter or volunteering as a Product Expert on the Google My Business Forum.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Easy?! That took about 3-4 calls over a few months to get the right technician that recognized the data error.

    Maybe if I went to the support forums I would’ve got better support 😉

  2. 3 to 4 months is more like it and outside the US you don’t call them, they call you (if you are lucky). Then try to convinvince someone with no local knowledge (and it seems, no way to do a quick Google Search) that ‘Co.’ in an address stands for ‘County’ and not ‘Corporation’!

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