SEO Updates January 22, 2021

It’s time for your info-packed SEO newsletter to kick off the weekend and keep you up to date on the latest news, SEO tactics, tests, and so much more.

We had an exciting week and you won’t want to miss a thing!

  • What Happened on the SEO Vault this Week
  • Deal of the week: Gain access to the February Agency Growth Webinar this weekend only when you spend $500+
  • SEO Mad Scientist: What You May Not Know About Your GMB Categories

To your success,

Chaz and the Entire Team

FROM THE VAULT – Episode 72

Don’t forget The SEO Vault airs live on the Web 20 Ranker Facebook every Thursday at 4 pm EST.

? Medic Update may be ranking med sites too well
? Google Local Review Summaries Now Grouped By Place Topics & Displays 3rd Party Reviews
? Google Continues Injecting Links Into Featured Snippets (Like Wikipedia)
? Google Crawl Stats Report Can Handle Additional Types Of Crawls
? Gary Illyes from Google said in the Search Off the Record podcast that Google uses different indexing tiers

– Watch the Latest SEO Vault Episode here

– Missed last week’s episode? Catch up with all the previous Vault Episodes here

– You Can Even Listen here


Friday’s Are For Deals

Another work week has come and gone and we like to kick off the weekend with a BANG!


For a limited time only this Friday the 22nd through Sunday the 24th we are opening access to the February Agency Growth Webinar to anyone that spends $500 or more at Web 2.0 Ranker.


Get Answers To Your Toughest Agency Growth & SEO Questions live along with Systems To Create Efficiency And Improve Outcomes within your agency


This may be the only agency growth webinar we offer all year! Start 2021 off right by ensuring you are doing everything possible to secure growth and provide results to your clients

SEO Mad Scientist

Another week has gone by and we are almost through testing every single GMB listing signal on the listing itself.

This week we want to look at irrelevant or unrelated GMB categories…

  • Does adding additional categories affect keyword rankings?

We recently noted the fact that Google definitely creates “guesses” or assumptions about your business when showing it for keywords as we have seen our GMBs ranking in SERPs for completely irrelevant services with no mention of that service anywhere.

If this is the case it would make sense that adding relevant or irrelevant categories may have some kind of impact.

This is also good to know as certain GMB categories have special features while others have some pretty big restrictions. If adding additional categories to unlock these features does not impact rankings negatively, then we can safely use the secondary categories to unlock these features or workaround posting restrictions (in some niches).

It is important to note that some of these categories can not be used for service area businesses such as “store” or “restaurant”. So if you are a SAB, you won’t be able to unlock the menu function by adding “restaurant”.

To start off we took our Chicago SEO listing and reviewed the rank history. We have actually been testing on this GMB with a lot of on listing signals and so far very few have shown to have much-ranking strength. At most, it would give us the entry into the SERPs, but that could be position 74…

The Chicago SEO Pros saw little movement from previous changes BUT, would add completely irrelevant categories hurt the rankings we had such as “SEO Service”?

Obviously, Dentist, Hair Salon, roofing contractor, and Resort don’t seem right there.

Something that may not be of importance but is interesting to see is that when I added these 3 new categories, I added them to the bottom of the list of categories like I normally do. Telemarketing service was the one I added in the previous test if you remember and like it normally did, it added it to the bottom of the list of categories. This time Google chose to reorder the categories putting 3 new ones at the top and another further down ?

After about 5 days we still see very little movement. We are watching multiple keywords but we decided to focus on the rankings for “internet marketing service” as that was our primary category and one would assume if it were to impact other rankings negatively, this would be the most obvious to see.

Just like the other terms, we still see nothing more than what appears to be normal fluctuations.

You could say there was a slight downward movement but if we look at other terms they seemed to have gone up slightly as well. So we don’t believe this is anything more than normal movement.

Now when we first ran this experiment we were questioning if adding these categories would hurt our current ‘category‘ rankings. So we weren’t tracking ‘new‘ keywords. While reviewing the results, however, it became clear that there were more important questions other than just would it hurt. The other side is would it help… Or more importantly, would we now rank for additional terms that Google would connect based on current data and the new data presented.

So we ran a report for dental SEO and this is what we found.


Unfortunately, we didn’t have the before reports so we immediately went to action and ran reports for law firm SEO, attorney SEO and related terms. (We aren’t going to show them all but none showed rankings like the image below.)

Then added our categories…



Within seconds of the GMB updating here is our results ⬇⬇⬇


As you can see there is some weird filtering when it comes to the terms we “told” Google, or the terms that exactly match our new categories. But, if we look at the related terms, or the ones Google “figured out” on their own, we have a strong/consistent ranking with my filtering



Google clearly is relying heavily on their algorithm to figure out what to rank vs taking it for face value. In fact, it looks like a specific filter is in place for this. This could be a major factor in why we saw no movement with our previous tests, adding remodeling terms everywhere to try and produce a ranking result.

This gives us a LOT of insight into GMB ranking signals which appears to be very different than the traditional organic on-page. It would be better to say “We are black and white striped, and look like a horse, but we are not horses.” instead of saying “Zebra” using this understanding.

In fact, the only place Google doesn’t seem to emphasize this filter or process of “we want to figure it out” is when it comes to the business name.

These findings open up a whole list of new tests which we hope you join us for as we move forward in 2021.

We will see you next week and as always,

Happy Testing!




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