5 Myths About Local SEO and Misconceptions That Will Never Go Away

5 Myths About Local SEO and Misconceptions That Will Never Go Away Mars664

5 Myths About Local SEO and Misconceptions That Will Never Go Away

Myths about SEO

There are certain myths about local SEO that keep appearing. Here we present a series of misconceptions and explained why things like this will never change.

Every time I'm at a conference, I hear a lot of questions about search engine optimization (SEO). Like a bad penny, certain topics always seem to arise, and with them, misconceptions about their use.

I'm not quite sure why these problems keep coming up, but they do, so I'm going to list the top five misconceptions that I've repeatedly heard about and explain why they're simply not correct.


Myth 1: Suite numbers are a ranking factor

It's surprising how often the topic of suite numbers comes up; This topic has been going on for years.

People who rent an office or share space with another company often wonder if having the suite number in their published address will give them a unique list of NAP (name, address, phone number). They believe that by adding the suite number, it will somehow make their address stand out and be more visible.

This is not the case. Google often ignores suite numbers and doesn't use them for anything more than a visual aid. You would continue to use these pool numbers so your customers have an easy way to find you, but they don't provide any sort of ranking boost.

It also won't help you to create a suite number if you don't have one and add it to your NAP. This can actually backfire and cause Google to remove your listing, believing you are spoofing an address. I see people reporting bad addresses all the time on the GMB (Google My Business) forum. It's spam, and Google deals harshly with spam.


Myth 2: Break any Google guideline and your ranking will be penalized

If you break Google My Business guidelines, one of two things could happen. First, you could get a soft suspension, which means you will no longer have the ability to run your local business through Google My Business. This is a big problem because you will no longer receive notifications about your listing, you will be able to use Google posts or respond to reviews.

This is a bad thing, but your listing's ranking will not be affected.

Second, you could get a harsh suspension. This is more serious as it means that Google removes the entire local business listing. Images, reviews, maps - everything will be deleted. Since the listing doesn't exist, it won't rank anywhere in local results. Oh!

What doesn't exist is some sort of algorithmic method that Google uses to downrank listings that violate its guidelines. Google does this for organic search (manual penalties), but not for local results. Unlike Google, Yelp penalizes the ranking of listings for businesses that fail to comply with its guidelines.


Myth 3: Your service area impacts where you are ranked

Google allows business owners to set the service area for their listing within the Google My Business dashboard. This is a visual indicator of how far you are willing to travel to service clients.

People often think that the information they put in this section will influence how and where they rank on Google. It is not like this.

If I say I serve 15 cities, it won't affect my ranking in any of those cities. Which locations you rank for are primarily based on the location of your address (what city you are in), along with the city the user is searching from.


Myth 4: Using a call tracking number will hurt rankings

Using a call tracking number will not affect your listing ranking if you move your “regular” phone number to the additional phone line in Google My Business.

Doing this allows Google to see that you are the same business and will avoid problems like duplicate listings.

We've been doing this for all of our accounts for almost a year and have never experienced any sort of ranking drop as a result. What you should avoid is placing call tracking numbers in third-party directories. Google may have trouble consolidating those.


Myth 5: You should consult Google My Business support about your ranking issues.

Google My Business has a support team available on Twitter, Facebook, its online forum, phone, chat, and email. Accessing this service is incredibly helpful and is often the first place we start if we have an issue with features in Google My Business.

The people who answer GMB support lines are not SEO experts and often don't know how the algorithm works. They are not the same team as the actual engineers working on the algorithm; They are GMB experts, so asking them about issue triage won't be much help.


Did any of this surprise you? I hear it all the time, and it still surprises me! It's best not to waste your time trying to use some of these shortcuts or tactics. They won't really help you. Adjust your lists so that customers arrive at your local pages and not other people's pages.