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Not showing up on Google maps suddenly for certain keywords

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Business name: Solas Studios Photography

Address: 7271 State fair Blvd, suite 4, Baldwinsville Ny 13027

Website: http://solasstudios.com

Google page: https://plus.google.com/+SolasStudiosPhotography

 

When you search for "wedding photographers in Syracuse NY" we are I among the first listing on Google search, but don't show up at all on Google maps. Before, last I checked last year, we showed up but ranked very low. Now we're not in the list at all.

 

I contacted Google about this but they said I just have to make weekly blog posts on my Google plus page, and also invite family and friends to leave reviews (yes Google really said that) and it would help my ranking.

 

I don't think this is the case. I already have good reviews, and I'm already showing up in top position for actual Google search for many keywords, just not Google maps.

 

My website has "Syracuse" all over it, including in the title.  So...

 

If you search just my business name, I show up on Google Maps.

 

I do have the correct category assigned in my business. 

Re: Not showing up on Google maps suddenly for certain keywords

Participant ✭ ✭ ☆
# 2
Participant ✭ ✭ ☆

Google's support (especially if you get one of the offices in India) tend to be less than useful when it comes to ranking advice. Definitely don't have anyone that's not a real client leave you a review, and it's basically an accepted fact that posting on your profile has zero SEO benefit. (though if you have a lot of followers there and there's engagement when you post, by all means do it for social reasons... though you'll have better mileage with instagram, facebook, or any other social platform really given your industry). 

 

The real issue, when it comes to the local map pack, location is a massive factor. Check out this article from last January from Joy, one of the TCs here:

http://searchengineland.com/rank-high-organically-not-locally-case-study-240692

Your citations look decent. I didn't check to see if you have problems with name/address/phone number inconsistencies, but I'd say given how many other wedding photographers there are in Syracuse, the fact that you're in an outlying city might be an insurmountable problem. I'd spend your time instead working on your organic SEO (getting your work featured in more places especially), trying to get your images ranking in image search for the popular wedding venues you've shot at, and then focus on other avenues for promotion (or paid search of course). 

 

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Re: Not showing up on Google maps suddenly for certain keywords

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Two years ago, my address was the city of Syracuse, but the city redrew it's boundaries and now it's technically in the tiny town of Baldwinsville. But it's literally right on the border, if I could move my studio 300 ft down the road, it will be back in the city of Syracuse for the address, but sadly I can't.

Also sadly, no one is searching for "Wedding photographers in Baldwinsville", only Syracuse, NY. I find it completely unacceptable that I can't show up on maps results for Syracuse, since I've both tried including it in the options as a city I serve, and expanding my radius to 200 miles.
Here's the funny thing though - I only changed my address to say Baldwinsville yesterday, because people were having trouble navigating to me on Google maps. I still wasn't on there even when my city was set to Syracuse. I've even tried putting "Syracuse" in my business name as a test, no dice.

I understand your point about working on seo in other areas, and I have. I'm at the top of Google search results and have spent 6 years working to get there. Still, I go unnoticed because Google puts the map results above the actual search results and people are only looking at that. I know this for a fact because I've had several photographers that are on maps nearby, refer clients to me. Same clients said they never found me on Google, when I asked they said they only looked on the "part that has the map near it".

There must be some other solution to get me on there. I'm at my wits end. 99% of people use Google to find wedding photographers and completely ignore other outlets.

Re: Not showing up on Google maps suddenly for certain keywords

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
To further add, if you put in "wedding photographer in Syracuse" into Google and look at the map, the building I'm in is actually visible in the map that comes up. But I don't.

Baldwinsville is basically Syracuse, any way. It's like saying hollywood isn't los Angeles

Re: Not showing up on Google maps suddenly for certain keywords

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Adding one more thing. If I search for "wedding photographers in baldwinsville" I do come up, but other photographers not in Baldwinsville (in Syracuse) come up..So it appears Google treats Baldwinsville the same as Syracuse but not Syracuse the same as Baldwinsville?

What are the chances Google will fix this

Re: Not showing up on Google maps suddenly for certain keywords

Participant ✭ ✭ ☆
# 6
Participant ✭ ✭ ☆

One interesting side to all this, is that there's really no set list of results for a given keyword anymore. Things on that list change drastically based on the device someone's using, their geographic location, and even their search history. It can make it hard when working with clients (they say "why am I not showing here?" but I look and they're showing there for me). 

Different keywords have totally different algorithms behind them too. Wedding photographers in city is a very different query than just someone typing in 'wedding photographers'. When the city's included, your location's very important, so I'm not hugely surprised you're not showing there. On the other hand, if someone does a search just for wedding photographers, they'll see very different things if they're in the north side of the city vs the south side. Given your good organic ranking, I wouldn't be surprised if you're actually getting a decent amount of exposure in the 3-pack, just more from people doing generic searches on the side of Syracuse closest to your location. 

 

As far as whether or not Google will change things to make your location less important... honestly, it's not likely. Plus, Google's made the dubious choice of giving one of the 3 spots in the 3-pack to an advertiser in the near future, we'll see how it all plays out but it makes it even harder for businesses to dance the right dance and get in there on their own merits, though it might provide a way for a business like yours to short cut things for a price. Google makes a ton of changes to their algorithm though, so... anything's possible. 

For what it's worth, having the wrong city in your address field wouldn't help you rank for a Syracuse search. If you've got the wrong address there you're not as likely to rank anywhere, and if Google does happen to still understand what location you're talking about, it decides which city you're in based on GPS coordinates, not the city field. It's more about actual distance away you are and where you fall in city bounds than anything else. 

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