Danny Sullivan just tweeted that Google is screwing up royally when it comes to searches for “dana point jet ski”:
Good job, Google. You ignore HTML title tag, make up your own title instead. Result: misname a harbor as business twitter.com/dannysullivan/…
— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) April 30, 2013
I thought it would be interesting to see if we can figure out why this is happening and whose screw-up it really is. Here are some of the smoking guns:
- Dana Point Jet Ski shows danapointharbor.com as its website on its Google+ Local page. I am guessing Dana Point Jet Ski has not claimed its Google+ Local page yet. Note to DPJS: Claim your Google+ Local page and update the URL.
- Of course, it doesn’t help that danapointharbor.com has a URL with “Dana Point Jet Ski & Kayak” in its title: http://www.danapointharbor.com/dana-point-jet-ski-kayak/. But that URL links to danapointjetski.com, so you’d think G would be able to figure that out. BTW, I have put my kids through college on G not being able to figure things out that you’d think G would be able to figure out.
- But maybe the issue is that the business doesn’t show it’s full name in the title of its home page. It just shows “Dana Point Jet Ski – Jet Ski Kayak SUP Rentals”. Nowhere on the site does it use the full business name in the title. Perhaps just adding ” & Kayak Center” to the home page title would push it into the #1 spot.
- And there are plenty of additional NAP issues. I did a Yext scan (use the name “Dana Point Jet Ski & Kayak Center” and (949)661-4947″) and found 142 different location data errors – many of which were a different business name. For example, Mapquest calls it “Dana Point Jet Ski” and the Mapquest profile links to the Patch listing for the business instead of directly to the business website. Yelp thinks it’s a Polish-run shop and calls it “Dana Point Jetski and Kayak Center”. I haven’t examined all of the citations, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them pointed to http://www.danapointharbor.com/dana-point-jet-ski-kayak/. Looks like the business should start doing some serious citation claiming/updating/fixing. Hit me up guys.
- Danapointharbor.com likely has a significantly more inbound links than danapointjetski.com. I wouldn’t be surprised if http://www.danapointharbor.com/dana-point-jet-ski-kayak/ has more links than danapointjetski.com.
- This one is a bit fuzzy, but Google may be interpreting “dana point jet ski” as a generic local query instead of a branded query. For instance, when I search the full business name, the title tags are more accurate.
It’s still connecting the Harbor to the G+ Local page though, so I think this one can be chalked up to the fact that the G+ Local page is still linking to danapointharbor.com.I am sure there’s more to it, but time to get back to my day job.
You’ve always wondered what SEOs do all day, right?
UPDATE: Looks like the algo is working it’s magic (or someone at G pressed a button). About 3 hours after I published this, Google is now not showing the biz name in the title of danapointharbor.com in the SERPs: