What happens when individual practitioners at your location have their own listings in Google Business Listings?
A dermatologist in Florida recently chartered us for a consultation. He had three listings on Google My Business and wanted to understand the way to consolidate them. It worked out that he actually had five, and therefore the issues they were causing were a touch worse than he had realized.
Once we began, I created a complete list of his duplicates, and below is what we were taking note of:
- A listing that was not verified for his practice with an outdated address which had 11 reviews.
- A verified listing for his practice at the present address with 43 reviews.
- An unverified listing for a doctor who not worked there.
- Another unverified listing for an additional doctor who not worked there.
- Another unverified listing for the practice at the present address with two reviews.
When he contacted me, he was conscious of the three listings for his practice but was unaware of the listings for the 2 doctors who wont to work for him. many of us don’t think to seem for these, but this is often an enormous oversight (as you’ll see with this case study).
The first problem I discovered was that once you looked for his name on Google (Minars Dermatology), it returned one among the listings for the doctor who not worked for him. So rather than seeing the great listing for his practice, users on Google were seeing this blank profile with no reviews for an employee who didn’t even work there (right-hand side, below).
This became worse a couple of days later when someone on Google Maps marked the listing as closed. Technically, consistent with a cartographer, this is often the proper thing to try and do for an inventory that belongs to an expert who no longer works there (but did at some point). Now, his patients would see this once they looked for him:
Clearly not ideal. I contacted the Google My Business support team and questioned them what I should do with this listing. I recognised that I needed to mark it as “moved” but was unsure if I should permanently mark it as moved to the Minars Dermatology listing or to the new practice that the previous employee now worked for.
Google responded that the simplest practice was to manoeuvre it to the place where the previous employee now works since this was “her” listing, and technically, she now works for this new practice. Red warning lights were flashing in my brain because I used to be terrified that if they did this, the new practice (a competitor) would now show up when someone Googled “Minars Dermatology.”
As I feared, this is often precisely what happened.
I immediately contacted Google support once again and requested that they revert this. I then got Google to agree that the right decision here was to mark her listing as moved to the initial practice listing for Minars Dermatology. As a result, they now had the proper listing exposure when someone sought for their brand.
After getting this sorted out, I consolidated all the opposite duplicates by having them marked moved. Duplicate #5 was merged (not moved), since the name, address and telephone number were just like the verified main listing.
I also asked the Google support team to merge all the reviews for the practice’s three listings. The outcome of this change resulted in the practice going from having all their reviews divided over multiple listings to a single listing with all 56 reviews!
Note that Google won’t move reviews from a practitioner listing to a practice listing (unless it’s a solo practitioner), but they’re going to consolidate reviews for duplicate listings.
Here are the top 6 principal points I discovered from this incident:
1. remember of your practitioners’ online presences
You should always remember the web presence of the doctors, lawyers and other professionals you’re employed with and exactly what shows up once you search their names.
Some of you would possibly be wondering, But what about the previous employee? What happens once you search her name? needless to say, it currently returns her old employer. This isn’t a mistake on the algorithm’s part, it’s a failure on her part. this is often why it’s so important to not ignore practitioner listings.
In her case, Google features a ton of knowledge on her from when she worked for Minars Dermatology, but they need next to no data for her on her new company (other than their website). Her listings on Vitals, Healthgrades and lots of other important niche citations still have her listed at her old company.
So all she would wish to try to to to correct this is often build up authority for the new Name, Address, telephone number and Website combination that matches her current employment. Until she does that, Google will still show the simplest data they need on her, which, unfortunately, is inaccurate.
2. Practice listings and practitioner listings are connected
There is an indoor feature that connects practitioner listings with practice listings. this is often something I’d never heard of, but support told me that one among the explanations why her listing was showing once you searched “Minars Dermatology” was because internally it had been connected to the practice listing. They compared it to the feature that exists that puts one listing inside another.
This isn’t something that’s publicly visible, so you’d never know they were connected unless you asked Google My Business support.
3. Rankings aren’t impacted by moving listings
Moving an inventory impacts what shows within the search results, but it doesn’t impact ranking. once I had all the duplicates consolidated (moved and merged), there was no direct impact on the ranking of the practice for his or her main keywords.
Years ago, merging duplicates wont to have an immediate impact on ranking, but I haven’t seen this since I discovered that they were treating merges and moves differently now by using 302 redirects.
4. Rankings are impacted by review consolidation
Consolidating reviews from duplicate listings does have an immediate impact on ranking. Google took a couple of more days to urge all the reviews moved onto the most practice listing, so I used to be ready to track this. the instant all the reviews got placed on the practice listing, the listing moved up from fourth to first for “Dermatologist Hollywood FL”!
5. Old, moved listings can still impact your local search visibility
It’s extremely important to understand that when an inventory is marked as “moved,” it becomes virtually impossible to seek out . Anyone watching this example today without all the knowledge could be completely confused on why Minars Dermatology shows up once you look for these old practitioners’ names.
This is why it’s essential for every professional working in Local SEO to possess a really thorough understanding of the way to treat duplicates and also to record the CID numbers for each listing they find. With the CID number, you’ll still see the listing for the previous employee on cartographer that we had moved. Without that info, you’d never be ready to find it.
6. Listings for practitioners got to be kept with the practice they belong to
As you’ll see during this example, Google’s concept a practitioner “owns” their listing and thus can just update it to list their new business works against the natural inclinations of the algorithm. The algorithm looks at an inventory as a mixture of Name, Address, Website and telephone number. once you plan to update an inventory or associate it with a totally different address, telephone number and website, things just break. What’s left is that the old NAP getting confused with the new NAP, which doesn’t just hurt the listing, it hurts the old brand — tons.
If Google is pushing you to manoeuvre a practitioner listing to their new NAP information (at a competitor), don’t roll in the hay unless you would like a repeat of what I experienced here initially. It doesn’t just associate the person to the new brand, it associates the old brand and their corresponding telephone number and address with the new brand, which isn’t ideal whatsoever, considering they’re presumably competitors.
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