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Business search results contain individual practitioner names

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# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

When searching for a law firm, Google search results include the names of individual lawyers, which is not ideal. These what I believe to be personal profile pages appear to be auto-generated, as they follow the same formatting. 

 

For instance, if you search "Smith & Smith" into Google, you will most likely get the correct location and 'My business' page alongside several unwanted individual attorney profiles that appear as "Smith & Smith: Lawyer one; Smith & Smith: Lawyer two". Sometimes the search results will list the firm's general business line under these unwanted profiles, sometimes the attorney's direct dial line. 

 

The question is, how do we remove these individual profile pages from the search results? And why is Google only pulling certain attorneys and not others? Again, ideally NO attorneys have this happen. Could it be a subset of the attorneys at a firm have Google-Plus pages that cause them to appear in the results? If so, how do we prevent those pages from being included in a general search of the firm?

 

Thanks in advance of your time. 

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Business search results contain individual practitioner names

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hey @Simpson T,

 

The short answer is that you cannot get listings for the lawyers at the firm removed. Practitioners are allowed their own pages according to Google's guidelines.

 

As far as why Google is preferring ones over others would really depend on a variety of factors. If you want to list the details for your business and what you searched on Google to get the lawyer profile (instead of the firm), I could probably advise better.


Joy Hawkins, Google My Business Top Contributor
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Re: Business search results contain individual practitioner names

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
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Hi Joy, a big thanks for your reply. We appear to be getting closer to the source of the problem.

To provide more details: These practitioners (lawyers) did not want nor created a page. It appears that Google automatically generated them a business page (that contains an option to write reviews, etc.) off of some unclear criteria/circumstances. To elaborate, some of these attorney business pages begin with the firm name (i.e., Smith & Smith: Roger Goodman), other pages do not include the firm name, and are even repeats of the same lawyer (i.e., Roger Goodman).

To elaborate even further, we've asked some of our lawyers if they've created Google+ pages, or have other Google-related activity that may be automatically creating these pages for them, and we've received a mix of responses. For attorneys who have these pages, we've searched their names in Google's social network and often find that we can't find their name there, adding to our confusion.

Any help would be greatly appreciated as many of these lawyers are receiving calls intended for our general business line. In other words, people are searching the firm name on Google, and sometimes getting Location results that include these Business pages, and as result calling specific attorneys for general matters. Thanks again in advance for your time.

Re: Business search results contain individual practitioner names

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

.The lawyers' profiles should not contain the name of the firm unless there is only one lawyer at your entire firm (https://support.google.com/business/answer/3038177?hl=en)

 

I would suggest editing the names for the ones that currently have them.

 

Google often will create profiles for attorneys even if you didn't not request it and it is generally because there is so much information online about them.

 

Can you list the links to some of the pages you are referring to?


Joy Hawkins, Google My Business Top Contributor
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Owner of Sterling Sky
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Re: Business search results contain individual practitioner names

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
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Hi Joy, thanks for your reply. I agree that the lawyer profiles should not contain the name of the firm (which employs hundreds of lawyers). These lawyers with business pages did not create said pages nor want them.

If you search "Simpson Thacher" into Google, that should give you a sense for what I mean. What you'll likely find is the correct NYC HQ address, possibly followed by a duplicate listing (also undesirable) followed by a series of random "Business Pages" for individual attorneys.

With respect to Google automatically creating these business pages for individual attorneys (all employed by the same firm), is there any way to remove these pages? Is there any way to stop Google from creating additional business pages of attorneys? Based off your post, it appears that Google is pulling information from around the web, and a few unlucky attorneys have information out there that is causing Google to create the page.

Thanks again for your time.

Re: Business search results contain individual practitioner names

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor

 Hey @Simpson T,

 

There isn't a way to get them removed or get Google to stop creating them.

 

I counted over 29 for your NYC location (and that was a really quick scan, I'm sure there are more) and it looks like there are several that are formatted wrong that need to be edited:

 

Ex: http://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=39&fid=0x89c259024152faa3:0xa6a4ed15b09c7118

 

The title should be James P Barrlett and I would link this to his profile page on the website (couldn't find one, maybe he no longer works there?)

 

It also looks like there are duplicate listings for the firm itself:

http://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=39&fid=0x89c2589568609d33:0x14a2cc7d74ee4856 is a duplicate of http://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=39&fid=0x89c2589568609d33:0x14a2cc7d74ee4856

 

I know that keeping track of the profiles and making sure they don't conflict with each other sounds like a full-time job. With that many lawyers, it honestly probably is :) Do you guys have a marketing department that takes care of it all for you or have you looked at possibly hiring a Local SEO company?


Joy Hawkins, Google My Business Top Contributor
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Owner of Sterling Sky
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Re: Business search results contain individual practitioner names

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Joy, yes indeed. To be sure then, it is in fact Google creating these automatic business pages? Because even if a lawyer here had a Google Plus page, none have deliberately created a Business page.

Is there anything we can do to minimize the chances of Google describing one of our partners as his or her own business?? Also, it appears that I need to claim each of these businesses in order to edit them, is that right? Is that also true for duplicate listings? Should I begin claiming these auto-generated pages, and then regularly check back to see that Google hasn't created any new ones?

Any guidance here appreciated.

Thanks.

Re: Business search results contain individual practitioner names

Top Contributor
# 8
Top Contributor
Hey Simpson,

Well the one page I referenced for James P Barrlett is not currently claimed (doesn't mean it wasn't at some point) so I would assume Google created it.

You can submit edits via MapMaker to listings without needing to claim them. If you want more control over each listing you should probably claim them and make the edits in Google My Business.

You do not want to claim duplicates. You should report those by contacting Google My Business support (https://support.google.com/business/contact/business_c2c_l?hl=en&rd=2#cft=5)

The only way to really keep Google from ever creating a page is to not have anything online for any lawyer at your firm, but that might be a little hard to do and I wouldn't really suggest that.

Joy Hawkins, Google My Business Top Contributor
Was my response helpful? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’

Owner of Sterling Sky
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Re: Business search results contain individual practitioner names

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 9
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thanks Joy. I will begin that process of deleting these pages via MapMaker. One final question if I may: Any advice/guidance on preventing Google from creating future undesired Business Pages for specific attorneys? Considering that only a small percentage of our attorneys had these pages automatically built, it must be something specific to their online presence that is targeting them. Do you have any idea what that might be? Many thanks.

Re: Business search results contain individual practitioner names

Top Contributor
# 10
Top Contributor
Hey Simpson,

Just to clarify, the ones for the lawyers aren't duplicates. The only ones you'll be successful in deleting/reporting are ones that exist twice, like the listing for your firm that I referenced.

The only way to really keep Google from ever creating a page is to not have anything online for any lawyer at your firm, but that might be a little hard to do and I wouldn't really suggest that.

Joy Hawkins, Google My Business Top Contributor
Was my response helpful? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’

Owner of Sterling Sky
Read My Column on Search Engine Land
MyAdvanced Local SEO Training Manual