Local Results That Shouldn’t Rank

**WARNING: This post may be a bit of a rant**
**UPDATE: All of these spam listings were removed**

Dear Google,

Over the years I have seen a lot of positive improvements in local results. Recently however I feel like the important signals and best practices have gone out the window a bit in local results. If you could be a bit more pro-active on removing spam results and rewarding bad websites that would be great.

Thanks!
– Casey Meraz

Maybe This Local Result Shouldn’t Rank

Recently I have been seeing a lot of weird websites ranking in Google’s local pack. It appears to me that in more and more cases organic rankings are getting less tied to local rankings. Here is one I found recently that I thought was just great and I wanted to share:

Example: San Jose Car Accident Lawyer

Let’s look at the results for San Jose Car Accident Lawyer. In this result there are three law firms ranking. None of these firms are in the top 3 organic results.

The firms that rank in the local pack are:

  1. San Jose Car Accident Lawyer
  2. Corsiglia McMaho & Allard, L.L.P.
  3. The Law Office of John J. Garvey, III

San Jose Car Accident Lawyer Example

Now let’s look at some of the basics for the #1 result: 

Business Name: San Jose Car Accident Lawyer
Website URL: http://www.san-jose-car-accident-lawyer.com
Website Pages: 1
H1 Tag: SAN JOSE CAR ACCIDENT LAWYER
Word Count: 141
Inbound Links: 1 Detected from politics-matters.com which is a 301 redirect with 100K links to that domain.
Index Status: noindex

My Analysis:
We know that having a business name thats keyword rich is a major ranking factor. It’s unfortunate that we still see so many of these in the index. I would love to see Google de-value this as a factor.

It’s interesting that they decided to noindex the website in this example. I’m assuming this is because it wouldn’t really meet Google’s quality guidelines for  website that deserves to be in Google’s organic index. The surprising thing to me is that it works for local. I personally had not looked into this before.

What Examples Do You Have?

I’m interested in other examples like this out there. If you have one please leave it in the comments below and I’ll take a look at it here to update this post. The more the better!

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Casey Meraz

Casey is the founder and president of Ethical SEO Consulting and Juris Digital based in Denver, CO. Casey's specialties are in organic and local SEO. He is a regular contributor to the Moz Blog and the author of How To Perform The Ultimate Local SEO Audit. If you have an SEO question or need advice please feel free to reach out by email: cmeraz@jurisdigital.com. Follow Casey on Twitter @CaseyMeraz.