Google Places Search Results: When it Goes Wrong, it Goes Very Wrong

Reader Plamen Byrzev called my attention to this very bizarre Places Search result on the phrase sports nutritionist Las Vegas NV. Local indeed.

One presumes that the result is related to the Contact Page on her site named http://www.christinaleora.com/las-vegas-trainer/ with the following title tag:

Las Vegas Trainer -Personal Trainer Las Vegas | KICK YOURSELF FIT


*******

She must spend a lot of time commuting.

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Google Places Search Results: When it Goes Wrong, it Goes Very Wrong by

8 thoughts on “Google Places Search Results: When it Goes Wrong, it Goes Very Wrong”

  1. She appears to also be an fighter. Is it possible this that she is linked from other Las Vegas topic’d pages (fights held at casinos or other well-trafficked website for LV spots), furthur bolstering the effect?

    I would advise the obvious page name change, along with textual address info, and I think this would get cleared up quickly.

  2. @Christopher

    I could find no significant inbound links about this to her site.

    Yes, should could steer Google right with no problem… the question is why did Google go wrong… can just a page name and title tag have that much influence on a standing that it shows in a totally different market? Usually Google’s parameters defining the geo area of a search are much more constrained and typically cover just the area or just beyond the area searched… why did they show a Map of the whole US?

  3. I looked to see if she shows up when you type in “Sports Nutritionist, Port Jefferson, NY” and she doesn’t show up. Could it possibly be as simple of a mistake as her accidentally entering NV instead of NY when she signed up for her google place page.

    Just a thought…

  4. There’s also the off chance that it could be triggering from an authoritative external data provider that’s got incorrect information (the NY/NV mixup). Certainly a long shot in the dark, but then again, when has anything with Google ever been straightforward?

  5. Hi Mike,

    I love these weird issues and spent, perhaps more time than I should, checking variables that might have caused this.

    As you mentioned there just aren’t enough links to her site the promote Las Vegas. And I checked out her online info about being a fighter, but most of those sites didn’t link to her business or if they did, they noted the business was in New York.

    Not sure if you noticed in the Nearby Businesses on her Places page, but they’re all Las Vegas related. So I assumed there had to be a very strong link between this business and Las Vegas somewhere online. Something stronger than the actual address that the owner entered into Places.

    The only place I could find a direct connection online was on her Twitter page (http://twitter.com/ChristinaLeora). You’ll see that on her info section she links to her business page and the location is set to Las Vegas.

    So I went out and checked other businesses that were ranking high on Google Places. As I went through different businesses, I found that the ones ranking in the 7pack in competitive markets for competitive terms all had twitter pages with a location set to their city; or their websites linked to a twitter page that had the location information filled in.

    Businesses with twitter pages that don’t have the location information filled in seem to be ranking lower.

    Of course all of this is an observational study and by no means exhaustive – but given it was the only credible link I could find between Las Vegas and the business webpage, I thought it might be worth mentioning.

    I, of course, won’t be taking any chances and will be reminding all my twitter friendly clients to make sure their City, State is filled in the Location section.

  6. @Steve
    These are interesting anomalies because as you implied they do tell us something about an otherwise very black box.

    It could just be a switched bit in the very big data repository of Google’s, I suppose. I did not notice the nearby businesses quirk.

    I did see a reference to Nevada on her MySpace page but it is entirely possible that Google is referencing twitter for confirming geographic information…. Interesting find..

    @Christopher
    I did an index search that should have shown any directories that made the NV mistake http://goo.gl/gyq2i and it only found the MySpace pages…

  7. @Gina you won’t find her in Port Jefferson, NY becuz her G listing is with hidden address, 2 citations and bad website. In fact Christina Leora desperately needs experienced SEO. ;)

    Still it’s strange that Google give that kind of strength to title and link even in non-blended search.

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