NOTE to TCs:
Please DO NOT MOVE to Google and your Business Forum - This is NOT a Local Algo problem, even though at 1st glance it may appear to be, it's not.
(But please help me escalate to John, Matt or another Googler.)
I am a Google and your Business TC. I've reported this major problem to Jade numerous times and she's been reporting to someone on the organic side, but I don't know who.
THOUSANDS of small businesses WORLD-WIDE are being locked out of search due to a bad algo tweak that happened around 8/22.
This new algo change causes PURE SPAM fake business listings to get a one-box (like what shows for a branded search) just because they have a fake keyword stuffed business name (City KW), which in itself is a Google violation. Many are violating numerous other Google guidelines. Many even are totally bogus with non-working phone #s and dead websites.
So in addition to promoting spam listings to one-boxes AND blocking out all the other honest businesses that were in the 7 back - these bogus listings with dead phones and websites are creating a bad user experience. Consumers call the "only Dentist in town" only to get a disconnected # or a little girl's cell phone. How relevant is that?
AGAIN, even though what I'm about to share is happening to local businesses and affecting the 7 pack results - THE PROBLEM IMO IS DUE TO the ORGANIC SEARCH ALGO.
(Sorry, didn't mean to shout, but I've been sending users here to post and their posts get moved back to the Google Business forum, when this is an organic algo problem. I've been trying and trying to get someone to understand how big this problem is and that's it's not happening on the Places side of the house, but is due to the organic algo - even though it's affecting local listings.)
PROBLEM SUMMARY: This is a wide-spread problem and thousands of SMBs WORLD-WIDE are being locked out of search in favor of spam listings that score a branded one-box.
The dial was tweaked too high that tries to show a single (one box) listing for a branded search.
If the name is Alpine Plumbing and you search for Alpine Plumbing - Google properly shows you one listing - Alpine Plumbing. (All good)
But when someone has an exact match FAKE city + keyword business name like "Atlanta Dentists" and you search for "Atlanta Dentist" then that single listing gets a one-box even if it's a FAKE keyword stuffed name and is a totally spammy listing. It's getting a one box just like a brand search would. Then all the other honest Dentists in that market lose their listing and are locked out of the 7 pack.
EXAMPLE #1: Google search: Plumbers San Diego
you may need to set location to the city of search to see most of these).
You'll see it shows only ONE Plumber in San Diego. This listing
got a ONE-BOX and knocks everyone else out of the ranking.
Fake name (Places violation),
geo stuffed categories (Places violation), address visible (Places violation), city repeated 3 times in
description (considered local KW stuffing).
Phone is out of service. In Map Maker the record goes to a painting company?
So again why does this listing deserve a one-box and how is it relevant to searcher - if call the only Plumber listed and the # is dead?
This one scored a one-box and locked out all the other Dentists in Sevierville, TN - https://plus.google.com/118167590104640721819/about?gl=us&hl=en
I called the number and it's a young girl's cell phone. Her Mom answered and was totally perplexed. (So not only bad result for consumers, but results in unwanted phone calls TO a consumer, not a business.)
Street view looks like this is residential - way out in the country - it's not even a Dental office. The site is not even built. Just boilerplate CMS, no content!.
How does this rate as the only/best/most relevant Dentist in Sevierville? It's not even valid. It's only a one box because it has City + KW in the fake name.
Those are just 2 of many, many examples I've reported in the thread below.
I started reporting 8/24 but 1st noticed the problem on 8/22. Since then tons of examples have been posted at the forum below and at the Google Business forum.
NOTE: Each report negatively impacts at least 7 local businesses, and who knows how many consumers that are trying to find a valid service provider, so you need to multiply for full effect.
(Some of those at my forum are resolved now, but NOT because the info got to the right person on the organic search team and the algo got corrected. I think the ones that were resolved were ones where Jade got the spam team to delete individual listings. BUT the algo problem that's causing this is still the underlying issue.)
More examples and reports from the Google and Your Business Forum:
(Google "Phoenix DUI Lawyer" goes to one box with a listing linked to an SEO site about SEO services. It's not even an attorney - but is listed as the only atty in Phoenix???)
There are many more reports at my forum and the Google Business forum. Above is just the tip of the iceberg. (I happen across more every day, without even looking, more than I can bother reporting.)
Can a TC help me by escalating to the right person/team?