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GMB issue with Service listing showing up instead of Main dealership listing

Nate Schoell

Green Pea
Jan 31, 2020
6
6
First Name
Nate
Hey all, just wanted to pop in here and share something interesting the DI SEO team has observed the past few days. Feel free to share your observations as well!

Over the past week, Dealer Inspire has noticed an influx of Service department listings showing up in the knowledge panel in SERPs for branded search of the dealership's name. I have not noticed any relation to the the website platform provider, location of the listings, or brand - we’re seeing this on dealer’s with multiple platforms and multiple SEO providers. While this seems like it’s likely simply a Google algorithm issue, it’s not great for users to see when the expected result should be the main sales GMB listing when searching for the dealership's branded name.


It is not uncommon for GMB and local search results to perform unexpectedly around core algorithm updates and GMB updates, which we have seen recently, so I theorize this is a temporary glitch. It does not hurt to monitor and collect data to share with Google when needed.
  • Do you have a Service department GMB listing, either claimed or unclaimed (Primary Category: "Auto repair shop")?
  • When searching for your dealership's name in Google Search, is your Service department listing showing up in the knowledge panel?
  • If so, do you know how long this issue has been occurring?
Good news is that Dealer Inspire teams are already seeing some GMB listings that we are monitoring to be correct as of today, but we are monitoring the issue closely. I encourage you to do the same, or reach out to your SEO company for further information!
 
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Rick Buffkin

Sausage King of Chicago
Oct 29, 2009
638
657
First Name
Rick
I was taken down this road a few years ago when all of the additional departments was able to be added to GMB. Ours finally worked itself out. We ended up having to put a massive emphasis on the primary listing though. Photos, reviews, updates, etc... to get Google to take the emphasis off of the service listing.

FYI - This issue you're talking about right here is some of the BS that you don't hear any of the ppl preaching this crap about GMB and creating these separate listings for the store. They're not talking about how to fix this problem you're running into.


Personally I didn't make the change on our GMB account. Some folks from the OEM did. I kid you not, I cussed those mofo's for a solid month!!! At least you can control the phone number and info on your listing. I didn't have that luxury. It was kinda rough when 90% of the inbound calls for the store was routed to the service dept. Anyways, to help correct this issue, you're going to have to put more emphasis and funnel traffic to your primary listing. Use the primary listing to ask for Reviews, photos, etc.. It sucks. The more activity this service listing gathers the more Google is going to put an importance factor on that service listing and show it for the store. Doesn't matter if they're searching for the store or for service. Google is going to show the service listing.
 
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Adam Thrasher

Full Sticker
Dec 3, 2011
13
15
First Name
Adam
Nate, the way you search (or the exact search phrase) is going to affect the results. If you specifically search for the name of the dealership, the service page shows up. However, if you search "mazda dealership near lee's summit" the main sales listing shows up.

Screenshot 2020-02-05 12.32.38.png

Most people who specifically search for the dealership name are looking for service and my theory is that's why Google is showing your service listing. Google is trying to serve up the best possible result. If you're using tracking numbers on your GMB, you should be able to listen to the calls coming from your GMB to prove my theory to be correct. The majority of all GMB calls are in fact for service. (At least that has been my experience over the past 2 years of tracking calls for multiple dealerships).

You can probably see this in your paid search campaigns as well if you're using DNI. Listen to those calls from PPC and see if those people who search the dealership name specifically are calling service or sales.
 

Nate Schoell

Green Pea
Jan 31, 2020
6
6
First Name
Nate
Thanks for the input and sharing your experience!

Absolutely Adam, the listing is there and comes up for many great keyword phrases. The issue I am monitoring is that the main GMB listing for the dealership was and should be coming up for the dealership name when searched on its own. In some cases the service listing may come up if it gets more authority and engagement than the main listing, but that is remedied like Rick mentioned above.

My issue is that this seems like a glitch right now. I am already seeing some return to the expected and correct results; when you search for the dealership name, the result is the dealership's main sales listing!
 

Nate Schoell

Green Pea
Jan 31, 2020
6
6
First Name
Nate
Yep, this is one I am monitoring and I am confident I will see it return to show the results it was showing in the past and not incorrectly showing the Service listing like it currently is for the brand name search!
 

Rick Buffkin

Sausage King of Chicago
Oct 29, 2009
638
657
First Name
Rick
@Nate Schoell, You may want to contact your dealers that this is happening to and make sure the calls are being routed and handled properly. As I mentioned earlier, all of our calls was being routed directly to the service dept. We had a operator and switch board but since that listing was showing up with the service dept number, thats what ppl were calling. It was a freaking nightmare to say the least. It almost drove our Service Advisors insane. I would dbl check with your contacts at the dealerships and make sure the inbound calls are being handled / routed properly.
 

Shawn Zents

Green Pea
Aug 12, 2019
6
2
First Name
Shawn
Curious if adding appropriate URLs in GMB > Info would help improve your scenario, @Nate Schoell.

At a glance, it does not appear that these are available for the 'Eddy's Mazda Service' GMB listing. I've seen this for many dealers at a previous employer - they have the Service listing, but no URLs for Service Specials and/or Scheduling Service.
  1. Are the 'Appointment links' and 'Menu link' completed in GMB?
  2. Are the 'Services' for both 'Sales' (main dealership, non-service GMB listing) and 'Service' (service-specific GMB listing) completed?
    • Do not include any service-related services in your Main Dealership (sales) listing and vice versa...

      Can also be found in GMB > INFO
      Screenshot_4.PNG
While I don't live in GMB like many, this should help!
 

Nate Schoell

Green Pea
Jan 31, 2020
6
6
First Name
Nate
@Shawn Zents Correct, on Eddy's Mazda service department listing, it does not have those additional "Menu" and "Appointment" links. Those can be set in GMB dashboard. For Eddy's Mazda, it is currently unclaimed, but it will be updated soon enough!

Thank you for sharing Brian Pasch's post. I disagree with most of it. Categories are super important. You should avoid any duplicates, including "Auto repair shop" no being on your sales listing when you have a service department listing using that category. This applies to all categories, no duplicates between your main sales listing or the department listing.

I disagree with changing the name of the Service department listing. There are cons with doing that, I would not want to hurt those department listing's chance to rank for other valuable keyword terms just to have a band-aid fix in place. The worst thing to do for SEO is to over react to Google changes, especially one like this that is a Google issue.

And it is an issue because as of recently I am not seeing any instances of incorrect results when searching a dealership's name. I am tracking a good number of dealership listings and they are all currently working correctly! Over the past week they have flip flopped often, but for now, I a mhopeful that this issue is cleared up.

Anyone still seeing their department listing show up instead of the main sales listing when searching for the dealership name?
 
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Reactions: Shawn Zents
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