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"Pending Review" Google Places Page - My Fix

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by PhillyLuke, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. PhillyLuke

    PhillyLuke Junior Member

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    Occupation:
    Fulltime SEO/IM
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    Recently had a drop of 25% to our organic traffic with a client of mine (law firm).

    After doing some detective work - ie look at Google Analytics for 5 seconds - I found our Google PLaces page was "pending review" and not showing up anymore in SERPs.

    We had either the A or B spot for most local terms around our area.

    I suspected the review was due to a recent address change we had, so I wasn't too worried, but after 5 weeks we were still pending so I decided to take a bit more action. Our review was an "algorithmic" review, which automatically flags Places pages that have something funny going on (as opposed to an engineer manually flaggin/reviewing it)

    Thus....I had to bow down to the Google Robot Overlords.

    What I determined was the cause was our recent address change. The firm had taken the time to change the addresses on as many sites as they could (from the old to the new) and so Google now see's our firm associated with 3 different addresses (new, old, plus other location we have) and is getting royally confused as to where we actually do business.

    So my actions:

    Step 1: Don't even touch your Google Places page until everything else is updated. People say logging in and "saving changes" without changing anything bumps your places page to the top of the cue. This isn't true...

    Step 2: Update the addresses/phone numbers on ALL your Google accounts associated with this places page. This includes billing addresses, main account settings, gmail, everything you can find. I found a billing address in an unused AdWords account with the wrong address.

    Step 3: Update the "big" info directories. This is localeze, InfoUSA, etc. Not only do you want to update that information to your new location, but you want to erase all traces of your old address. I found our our intern (when originally tasked with updated this data) just made a bunch of new accounts which just makes Google suspicious of our "real" location.

    Step 4: Update the smaller guys. If you have a list of smaller directories you've submitted to go find them and update the information. It's time consuming but worth it.

    Step 5: See what else is out there with your old info. I ran a search query using our company name, phone number, and old address to see what kinds of sites still had our old info live. I found about 100 results with our old info. My query looking something like this:

    "abc law firm, 888-888-8888, 20 old address road, city of angels, 12345, suite 420"

    I had our unlucky intern run a couple versions of this query and update EVERY listing she could find. You want to cull the internet of your old address.

    Step 6: Give everything a week or two to rest - you are waiting for the big info directories to propogate your new address out, and also waiting for Google to spider all the updates you've made.

    Step 7: Log into your ol' Google Places account and clean up your profile. Get rid of spammy looking text - stuff that is all capitalized (ie FREE, CALL NOW). Update the name of your listing to EXACTLY what you have been using when updating your address. Don't drop keywords in your company name, save that strictly for your categories you can choose. Keep your categories "general" - don't try to stick any local keywords in there at all. Now go ahead and save your listing.

    Within about a day of updating the places page, our Places page starting showing up for our keywords again (though profile was still marked pending).

    Within another few days our review was fully live again!
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  2. dnrus

    dnrus Newbie

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    Thanks for that great info. I will remember if any clients change ADDRESS to charge them to do all the work you outlined.