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Lost Position in 7 Pack- Google Disregarding Reviews?

     
2:50 pm on Oct 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Hi everyone.Quick question for the group:

Recently had a #1 position for an extremely competitive local term, but as of today, we dropped from A to G in the lucky 7. Now, we currently have about 100+ reviews (all legit) and had been #1 for almost a year. We also have links from local authority sites with a devise anchor text portfolio Any insight/advice would be greatly appreciated!

2:52 pm on Oct 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I should point out that the above should have stated:
we currently have about 100+ MORE reviews than any of our competition.
10:36 pm on Oct 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I haven't seen reviews, title tags, PR influencing the position in the onebox. I see entries there that are not in the top 20 organic results.
10:37 pm on Oct 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Review velocity: are your new reviews still coming in at a relatively steady pace? Did they always come in steadily or was there a large # of them created in s short period of time? Best if it all looks natural.

If it's extremely competitive, maybe it's just that your competitors have you beat in some of the other factors. Review quantity is obviously not the only ranking factor in Local search.

10:16 pm on Oct 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I've spoken in-person with Google Maps engineers multiple times in the past few years and they all insist that Reviews and Ratings don't impact rank.

However, I think it's possible that they may have been mostly referring to whether reviews are positive/negative or high/low. I think it's possible that the quantity of reviews does have some influence -- more reviews, whether good or bad, could indicate relative popularity. And, if the reviews are from sites where Google has a higher level of trust that the reviews are less-gamed.

But, rmjvol is pointing in the right direction as far as I'm concerned: there are a lot of different factors which appear to influence ranking in Google Maps and the 7-pack, so you need to consider all the other factors involved.

Just two "for-instances":

- Citations have appeared important to rankings in the last few years -- is the business mentioned with some frequency in various places?

- Could the site have lost a valuable inlink in the recent past? Maybe they participated in a charity event last year, and didn't this year, thus losing an important link from a .ORG site or somesuch?