Perhaps SEMRush is still updating but if its organic search traffic graphs are even close to accurate it looks like May is the month that Google took care of all Local family business: SEO

Superpages SEO

Foursquare SEO

DexKnows SEO

CitySearch SEO

InsiderPages SEO

 Merchant Circle
Merchant Circle SEO

Manta SEO

Barry Schwartz noted a Google Webmaster Forums thread on the subject where Google’s Eric Kuan from the search quality team highlighted a post that included the following:

An example of doorways is when you have a website with 200 pages on it, all of which have the same basic text but with place names switched out on each page (“Find a taxi in London”/”Find a taxi in New York City”). The pages are designed to rank separately, catch keyword searches, but funnel all the traffic to one destination.

Jennifer Slegg at TheSEMPost reported last week that Google’s Doorway Page Update is live and is continuously updating. If this data is correct (that’s not always the case with these tools) then there’s a good chance these sites have been Doorwayed.

And Google didn’t even offer these guys a drink first…

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21 Response Comments

  • Andrew Shotland  May 15, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    You may be right Terry, but that “Find a Taxi in London” description seems pretty spot-on for local directories

  • Andrew Shotland  May 15, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    And that Phantom update may also have had the doorway algo baked in.

  • Mike Bunnell  May 15, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    how about we let May 2015 get a full month of traffic

  • Andrew Shotland  May 15, 2015 at 3:35 pm

    SEMRush is not reporting “traffic” but rather estimated monthly traffic based on rankings.

  • Andrew Shotland  May 15, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    For a second I was thinking “Am I an idiot?”

    Then I was thinking “Yes, I am an idiot, but that SEMRush data is confusing”

  • Phil Rozek  May 15, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    Interesting. I wonder if Google has shoveled away some of the Pigeon poo: I’ve also seen the 7-pack return for terms like “real estate agent,” “real estate,” “DUI lawyer,” and “water damage restoration” – all of which didn’t trigger local packs post-Pigeon.

    The increased emphasis on links seems to have stuck, but I wonder if Google has dialed back the most-frustrating parts of the update: the rash of directory results (especially Yelp) and the disappearing packs.

  • Andrew Shotland  May 15, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    I have been looking and still see multiple Yelp results in a lot of local SERPs.

    That said, we have been hearing some reports of some local SERP shake-ups but haven’t seen it on any of our clients yet.

  • Todd Bialaszewski  May 16, 2015 at 5:11 am

    Check out – Their pages are as bad as it gets with just changing out the city and state and using the same content on every page.

    SEMRush shows them increasing nicely over the last month.

  • Andrew Shotland  May 16, 2015 at 9:11 am

    As I am sure you know Todd, for every site that goes down, another goes up. GOOG’s algos are notorious for being leaky sieves.

  • Carlton  May 18, 2015 at 9:25 am

    It is really bad for airline guides as well. “Get the cheapest flights to …” at so-and-so airlines. I hope it isn’t too optimistic to hope that by the end of May, there will be some real differences in actual data, not just predictions. I would like to see a follow-up post after some real test time.

  • dattrax  May 18, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    Love the Godfather video tie in! If this doorway algo affects rankings of local directories then would it also affect brands with tons of location pages? Is it too soon to say that this is definitely google’s doing?

  • Andrew Shotland  May 18, 2015 at 1:11 pm


    You are probably right. SEMRush is showing growth in May for “branded” travel sites like Expedia, Travelocity, Kayak & AirBnB. The lower quality SEO’d sites may be getting flushed.


    It’s always too soon to say this is definitely what Google’s doing.


    Sehr interessant

  • Viktor  May 18, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    @dattrax only if the tons of local pages do not really have “local stores”.

  • Chris  May 20, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    +1 For Godfather Video. Great Post. Ive made a ton of money on Local SEO…… and will continue to

  • Martina McKeough  May 22, 2015 at 7:57 am

    Good for me as sites like these often clutter the top three positions in the organic search. If they are going down hopefully some of my sites will be taking their place.

  • Aaron  May 29, 2015 at 8:14 am

    Very interesting, the bigger winner here may be Angie’s List, they continue to be on the rise. I’ve had them pass up a couple of our high ranking sites recently…while they aren’t “just a directory”, they’re still a directory.

    • Andrew Shotland  May 29, 2015 at 11:02 am

      I would consider Angie’s List a “brand” in that they do a ton of on and offline advertising which likely drives brand queries and branded backlinks which in turn could signal Google that the site is different than say a generic IYP.