Why Has My Local Ranking Dropped?

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Yesterday, your small business was sitting comfortably on the first page of Google, prominently displayed for everyone to see. Today, your company’s name is nowhere to be found.

You haven’t changed your marketing strategy in the last twenty-four hours, so what happened?
With some local SEO expertise and investigative know-how, our in-house marketing specialists are here to help you expose the trap door behind your ranking’s disappearing act and reclaim your turf on page one.

Local SEO: The Never-Ending Game

People say Monopoly is a long game – but our marketing team knows that the local SEO game takes the cake. Players be warned, earning your place on Google’s SERP (Search Engine Results Page) is a marathon, not a sprint.

In the game of local SEO, your small business doesn’t always travel in one direction, continually advancing. Google’s algorithm is complex and ever-changing, which means it’s not uncommon for your ranking to fluctuate. So, if your local ranking is seeing ups and downs (and more downs than ups) recently, don’t panic. You can, and will, rebound.

While we can’t offer you a get-out-of-jail-free card, we can give you some insider tips to escape online anonymity.

What Affects My Local Ranking?

Google determines local ranking based on three underlying factors:

  1. Prominence
  2. Relevance
  3. Distance

If one or more of these categories takes a hit, they can take your ranking down with them. To solve your SEO mystery, let’s play detective and address the potential culprits one by one to regain your status as a leader in the local industry.


Prominence is a significant ranking factor that encompasses many components of a marketing strategy. When a client’s local ranking has taken a tumble, this is the first place we go to find out what went wrong.

The Local Pack is an industry term for the top three ranking results that appear underneath the map on Google’s SERP. Being in the Local Pack is a little bit like being part of the cool kids’ clique: everyone is eyeing you up and vying for your spot. Competition is fierce online, which is why one of the most likely reasons your ranking took a plunge is that your competitors are marketing more aggressively than you are.

Marking your territory in the Local Pack means continually proving to Google why you deserve to be among the cool kids. The best way to do that is to stay active on Google. Keep uploading photos and updating your profile. If you’re not actively campaigning, you can bet your ranking will pay the price.


Your Google My Business account is one of the most effective means by which the Google algorithm assesses your relevancy. Make sure you fill it out completely – answer every question they give you – with detailed, accurate information.

Lastly, consistency is essential. Verify that the name, address, and phone number (NAP) you use is correct and precisely identical to every other citation you have on the Internet. A seemingly harmless abbreviation from “Street” to “St.” can trick the algorithm into thinking your small business is untrustworthy.

Check to see if you’ve created a new listing lately that doesn’t match up with the others. If there’s one black sheep in the flock, you may have solved the “whodunnit” mystery.


Google displays businesses that are geographically closest to the person searching online. Although it may seem like distance, as a ranking factor, is immovable, you can still increase the odds in your favor by properly using keywords. Create ultra-specific content that mentions your target city approximately twice throughout the page. If you serve more than one location, make sure your website has city-specific landing pages. Doing so will make it easier for Google to match you with people browsing in your area.

Hammer Your Stake in the Local Pack

Patch the holes in and stay on top of your small business’ online prominence, relevance, and distance ranking factors, and not only will you see your ranking surge, but you’ll hammer in your stake as the top ranker in town.

Need some investigative help getting to the bottom of your local ranking woes? Put a LinkNow Media local SEO specialist on the case. Leave a comment, drop us a line, or send us an email at website@linknowmedia.com to get in touch with us.


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