I've gotten into local SEO about nine months ago. Started working with the top SEO agency here. But also with my own client and now my own websites. I don't live in a massive city, so although there is some competition, it's not too crazy, nor is the work done on these sites. I've been working on clients site for about six months now. Went from the low hundreds to now in the 30s, which it has sat for a few months and I feel bad charging $1000+ per month and it's not moving. So they're $6k in and in the 30s. To be fair, I should have done even more than I have, but for what I've done, it's barely moving, especially the past few months. I've added tiered 2.0s with unique content, a couple paid links in relevant niches, and two PBNs. It just seems like every time I do something it will jump up 3-5 spots, then a few days later fall back down. The frustrating part is that sites under us, 90% of them are absolute shit. Half them look like they were designed ten years ago, poor contact info, poor onsite etc. And to make it worse, you pull them up in ahrefs and they have like 2-5 shitty directory links. Even the top sites only have a handful of quality links, and I'm probably on par with them, if not better. I just don't understand how some of these sites don't do anything and they rank 10-30, while I'm doing a shit load of work just to get on par with them. Same goes for another local site I've started for myself. Now this is a brand new domain so I can expect some hold back. But even still, in the sites ranking from 1-20, probably 3/4 of them have under ten links. And the links are shitty directory sites. Like how do these sites just luck out and get to the top of Google with zero work and we struggle to make any movement even with high quality links? Like what possibly in Google's algo is putting some of these sites up with literraly 2-3 links and terrible on page seo. And here we are building citations, quality links, great onpage, etc, just to get in the top 30. I just don't get it. I mean I will continue to work and I will get there eventually, but why am I having to put in 20x the work as these sites?