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Weird SERP with Google - What's Up With That?

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Getting Refreshed
May 24, 2017
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Los Angeles
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Jason
We are seeing some strange things with Google Organic SERP's and was wondering if anyone is experiencing the same thing. Primarily around "dealer" keywords, i.e. honda dealer, honda dealers, honda dealership, honda dealer near me, etc.

Google is pulling dealers from locations a flight away and not sure why...it seems almost as if location feature has been disabled or is not being recognized (no so much from the browser side but from the algorithm). Maybe RankBrain is not working as intended. See below screenshot with the keyword "honda dealer" and the location is Rialto, CA. We have dealers hundreds and thousands of miles away from the search location.

Screen Shot 2019-05-11 at 4.50.55 PM.png
 
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Reactions: Alexander Lau
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Alexander Lau

Sr. Refresher
Feb 11, 2015
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Mars, PA
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Alex
Their system is far from perfect. I think we've all witnessed strange SERP (anomalies) over the years. You have a legitimate grip there, I'd keep an eye out for those, if I were you. Their update very well might have caused some of that, but it's almost impossible to tell, need a greater sample size for comparative analysis.

For a second, I though this was another Dealer.com complaint @Rick Buffkin. HA HA HA! That would make sense, injecting incorrect geos and them ranking in the wrong areas.
 

C Dorman

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Aug 7, 2018
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The OC.
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Chip
Jason, for what it's worth I'm not too far away from you. I did a search for Honda Dealer this morning from Irvine CA and the SERP results look spot on. It could be a number of things, hopefully Google has straightened it out for you by now.
 

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Getting Refreshed
May 24, 2017
92
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Los Angeles
First Name
Jason
Chris, thanks. The results are looking better for some areas than others. Our pages are ranking fine, but it was just strange seeing dealers hours away on the SERP. Again could be the AI piece of Google.

Here is an example from today:
I am in LA (near UCLA) and my closest Honda Dealer would be Culver City or Santa Monica (10 min.) and Google organically (with Location settings on) gives me Downtown Honda (25 min w/ no traffic) with Santa Monica/Culver City (showing up in the middle of Page 1).

Google Maps looks good but there is no GMB displaying.
 

C Dorman

Getting Refreshed
Aug 7, 2018
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The OC.
First Name
Chip
I know it's frustrating, believe me, I know, but Google does this kind of stuff all the time. They run so many tests it's hard to tell if it's a test, a screw up or both. And it really sucks when you have to try to explain it to a GM or Owner. Sometimes you just have to have patience and things correct themselves.
 
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Getting Refreshed
May 24, 2017
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Los Angeles
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Jason
A lot more moving pieces now with Google; Ads, GMB, Maps and Organic

Thought there would be some more activity with the community here about what they are seeing...:sleep:
 

C Dorman

Getting Refreshed
Aug 7, 2018
63
50
18
The OC.
First Name
Chip
A lot of times you won't hear anything because nobody else is seeing it. That's what drives you insane. You ask yourself is it just me? Is it Google? Is there anything I can do?

And in my experience, unless there's been a seismic change in your website or Google, there really isn't anything you can do, which makes it that much more frustrating.
 

[email protected]

Getting Refreshed
May 24, 2017
92
43
18
Los Angeles
First Name
Jason
No changes on our end and our sites are ranking like they always have.

I was just curious if anyone was seeing organic results with listings of dealers hours away...
 
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Jeff Kershner

Founder
May 1, 2005
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I haven't ran into any issues on this end. Will results be off if you're using a VPN service like ExpressVPN that provides an anonymous VPN to access the internet?