Google Local Disappeared Me

My Google Local Maps listings disappeared off the face of the earth again recently and I’m going to explain how I think it happened. But first a little background and I’ll start with the naming conventions. Google Local Business Center listings are known my many names…

  • Google Local
  • Google Local Maps
  • Local Maps Listing
  • Google LBC
  • Maps Listing

and there are also Yahoo Local listings and Bing Local listings. But this article is on a problem I had with my Google Local listing. Since Google search is still dominating 85% of all market share in search many professional SEO’s like myself will add a listing to all 3 main SE’s but only spend time enhancing the Google LBC.

Above is a screen print showing 3 Google Local Business Center listing that I maintain. In the last 30 days I’ve gotten an outstanding 3,500+ impressions for the Manhattan Bakery I work for. That’s quite good especially considering the competition for bakeries in NYC is intense. It’s what SEO’s might call a highly competitive phrase in a “Tier 1″ city. Cities and States are ranked by a lot of factors in SEO but in this case New York City generates a tremendous number of searches that are geographically local giving it the top shelf rating or Tier 1. You can see I have an off the hook 5,000+ impressions for my NJ Diner site. Since the geographic ares is “NJ” That’s also a Tier 1 category… it generates a huge amount of searches. I’m lucky with that total as well because the competition in NJ for Diners is intense also… there are over 700 diners in New Jersey. Now for my problem listing… and it could not be closer to my home… IT IS MY HOME !!  (I have an office in my house as well as an office in New Rochelle NY and one in midtown Manhattan).  My own listing has an almost invisible 79 impressions in the last 30 days. My main phrase is NJ web design and I currently rank #12 in the main index for it. Now that’s quite respectable and I’ve been on Google Page One in the 10th position for a few days but I’m happy with being at the top of Google page Two for now.

What Happened to My Google Local Listing?

There are a set of rules and recommendations provided by Google to help you to setup your local listing. It’s called the [Google] Business Listings Quality Guidelines or the Local Business Center Guidelines. That’s the good part. The bad part is this guide is also your main tool to figure out where you made mistakes that caused Google to downgrade your listing. In terms my Russian friends might use “if you disrespect them they might disappear you”. One time Google “disappeared me” in the LBC because I made the mistake of using the words “Google Maps Listings” in my “Description” field. That is a no-no according to the Guideline and it was confirmed by Google Local Pundit and Internationally recognized expert Mike Blumenthal. If you want to learn a lot about Google Local you have to read Mike’s blog. It’s the bible of local search.

How Can I Get restored to Listing Health?

Within 2 days of fixing my problem with my description the last time I was restored to listing health and I was actually back on the top of a Google 10 pack. So when I noticed they disappeared me again I had to go back to the guidelines and read them again and look for clues as to why they might think I disrespected them. I think I found it. I had tried a little experiment and instead of calling my Company / Organization field just Web Design Workplace, I thought I would be smart and call it NJ Web Design Workplace. It states in the guidelines “Represent your business exactly as it appears in the offline world. The name on Google Maps should match the business name..” Whoops !! OK I fixed the problem and I’ll see if it can get me back on top.

<No persons or companies mentioned in this post have paid me in any way for this article – Regards, Mal>