7 Points to Improve Our Local SERP Rankings through Google GBP or GMB optimization

Tim Kahlert 👑
You want to improve your local rankings through Google My Business (GMB) optimization? 🚀🔥
Then you might optimize your GMB, right?
Here's a list of things that currently have
NO DIRECT impact on rankings.
❌ GMB description
❌ Service areas
❌ Service section
❌ Google posts
❌ Products section
❌ Google business site
❌ Photos/Videos
❌ …
Many of them can raise conversion rates and lead to better rankings through increased engagement. However, all of them seem to have no impact on rankings, and you can save your time by not thinking about adding keywords to those sections.
What else has no impact on rankings? 👇


50 👍🏽5 🤭4 😢64 filtered from 185 💬🗨

John Cody 🎓
To me, Search-Engine Marketing (SEM)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is all about the combination of things working together. If all you did was just those things and nothing else, I'd say its likely to not have much impact. Combine that with location pages / great schema / map embeds, ect…then it should work together to move the needle.

Tim Kahlert ✍️👑 » John Cody
I agree, if you complete the whole profile it‘s not unlikely one will see results – though I doubt it‘s because of any relevance factors in the above mentioned sections.

So if you are located in Florida and you put your service area as Texas, it won't impact your Florida search rankings? Right…

Tim Kahlert ✍️👑 » Matt
Exactly. It‘s pure user experience and can in and decrease conversions.
Matt » Tim Kahlert
I fully believe if you use all of GMB features the way Google intended, it will have a positive result on your rankings and leads. If you are doing more than your competition you will see better results. I have seen conversions from posts. I have seen increases in rankings from using all GMB features. I cannot correlate one specific thing to the ranking increase, but it was a whole with keeping your website updated and responding to reviews has a positive impact. Maybe it's just my opinion, but we are seeing results from it and our clients are happy so I will continue to be a GMB all-star.
Tim Kahlert ✍️👑 » Matt
That‘s exactly the way I see it too!

Looks like a 'post' to create controversy & get people to react. For that, well done! So… Tim. Care to prove your statement? I mean you must have done many, many GMB's to prove the stats? (same niche & city with variances to get the stats) 🙂

Tim Kahlert ✍️👑 » Ockert
Hey! I've been running tests for years, yes. Truth is, mostly the people who make money with Google My Business (GMB) management and the like will tell you these things impact. 🤷🏼‍♂️ However, I'm not the only one who comes to these conclusions. No need for quantitative research but if you like to see a more quantitative approach: Many more local SEO experts know this as well: https://whitespark.ca/local-search-ranking-factors/
You can easily test things like GMB posts and their justifications – track rankings, create a post, wait for justifications, track rankings, remove post, check rank again. You can apply that to all individual GMB features and you‘ll see these features have no direct impact. All things that seem to impact GMB have an immediate effect on rankings when you change them. Like address, name, categories…
2020 Local Search Ranking Factors | Whitespark
Elie » Tim Kahlert
But making Google posts and uploading pictures does keep your GMB up to date and helps rank over those that aren't…
Tim Kahlert ✍️👑 » Elie
Yes, that‘s what I think, too.

Hmm… doesnt Google have specific icons for product/svc and post justifications – meaning they impact whether your GMB gets into the search search therefore affecting rankings???

Tim Kahlert ✍️👑 » James
That‘s what I initially thought as well when those justifications came up. The thing is, the keywords get pulled but the ranking doesn‘t change. So you‘re already ranking #x for a certain term and Google just adds the justifications to the same ranking.
You can test this very easily: Just remove the blog post you‘ve got justifications for and you‘ll see that the removal won‘t impact rank.
Big conversion factor though.
James » Tim Kahlert
I've personally seen clients move rank with posts. And products/services. They weren't in the search results before and after adding post/service they were. I've seen this firsthand with sign shop services and lawyers practice areas.
Taylor » Tim Kahlert
How long are you waiting to remove the blog post – and where are you removing this post from? Website or GMB? If you post to GMB it gets posted on the GMB website if you have it set up.

Having worked on thousands of GMBs over the past 7 years, there are several items on your list that I disagree with. GMB website, posts, products, images, videos, and a few other optimization methods will push a GMB into the three pack and make it stick rock solid. I've tested on many different niches and even used a GMB to drive a non local project, which I know experts don't recommend, but I Do Da' Do my way any f'in' way. I've ranked GMBs with and without a companion money site. I've done GMBs where the client did not want the money site worked on in any way. I've used a Gsite as the money site and even the GMB website as the money site all with crushing success.

Tim Kahlert ✍️👑 » Marco
Yeah you‘re probably right. But there is no evidence these are direct ranking factors. These features can improve rank through engagement undoubtedly though. 🙂
Marco » Tim Kahlert
To get engagement, you have to start appearing in the three pack, KP, etc. But only Google knows if they're actual ranking factors. On the other hand, thousands of GMBs across a wide gamut of niches getting the same systems and processes applied and getting results (phone calls, form fills, sales, etc.) time after time tell me everything I need to know to continue applying the same systems and processes, which include your list and other methods.
Beal » Marco
You have to stop believing those lying eyes you got… it was published in an article that was found on the internet.


Marco » Beal
GIF may contain rain, dog, goggles, silly and wipers
Alix » Laterala
This is Marco, check out his reply!
Laterala » Alix
Oh cool! I was already reading his responses before you tagged!

7 points to improve our local SERP rankings through google my business GMB optimization

Proof posts are most certainly a ranking factor

Tim Kahlert ✍️👑 » James
Hey James! Well, delete the post and you‘ll see no change in rankings 😉 Just because justifications show up doesn‘t mean they trigger anything.
James » Tim Kahlert
Yes it does. It means they trigger ranking. That's exactly what a justification is!
Tim Kahlert ✍️👑 » James
James » Tim Kahlert
Curious… what do you think a justification is?
Tim Kahlert ✍️👑 » James
The snippet that gets pulled from posts, reviews, services, products.
James » Tim Kahlert
Yeah in RANKED results. Lol. It's the reason why your GMB is included in the results to begin with – so it plays a part in ranking!
Tim Kahlert ✍️👑 » James
Hey James. It seems to be very important to you so here's a story: I was in the exact same situation once. I thought it impacts rankings when you get the justifications listed. Then someone came to
me and said it‘s BS what I say. So I wanted to prove him wrong and started testing. The first test failed. But I wanted him to be wrong so badly, so I did more and more testing. Until I had to admit that I was wrong as I just proved myself wrong over and over again. That was embarrassing as I caught myself teaching stuff I haven‘t tested. Not so this time.
I‘d be happy to see you uncover and reveal any changes in the search algorithm and learn something new but there is a very high chance that those justifications are just pulled to the already existing search rankings and have no effect on the order of the listings.
James » Tim Kahlert
Doesnt seem you're clear on the concept of "justification"

I checked some GMBs and fund that these marked sentences are populated through GMB posts only. If GMB posts are not a factor then why Google is showing it here?


James » Khan
Yup you're correct… this post is full of errors
Kimothi » Khan
Absolutely, many of my clients are ranking on particular keyword as we have mentioned that keyword in the post.
Keefer » Khan
This was my point too. I can show these all day long.
Tim Kahlert ✍️👑 » Khan
Just because Google is showing these justifications doesn‘t mean they‘re responsible for the rankings. Delete the posts and you‘ll see no effect. Tested that many times 🙂


Taylor » Tim Kahlert
You kind of botch some of these up.
The report doesn't say that things like GMB description, GMB Post, GMB Product – have no ranking factor. It says KEYWORDS in these areas have no ranking factor.
I see you mention something about keywords in the next paragraph – but super hard to read.
Plus a completed GMB profile is #10 on ranking factor list. So keep filling out these sections, just don't keyword spam it.

Tim Kahlert ✍️👑 » Taylor
Yepp, I said „direct" ranking factor. Ranking is always related to relevance. If these features would be directly affecting rankings then keyword stuffed profiles would be #1 everywhere. Even the spammers realized that keywords in these areas have no impact.
Johnson » Taylor
Yeah I was going to say they crawl the 750 Character Description to help rank for Keywords when searching on Maps. To help people find the right place. If this is true which I have yet to find anything saying they took the ranking factors for Keywords.

A client of mine recently added a new service. Before adding any content onto her website or adding it to her services she did a post to show her qualification for the new service. And she ranked on Google my business 2nd before me doing anything. How long that would stay there for is anyones guess, but it can have a short term effect if nothing else.
I understand what you're saying by "no direct impact." There's no way anyone can show causation because we don't have access to the algorithms. Since we don't have access to the algorithms, we have no way of knowing what the exact variables are. However, the whole point of testing and creating repeatable systems and processes is to find common triggers that manipulate Google. That's all I'm after. Once I have the repeatable (meaning it gets results) process, then I can start testing to see if I can extend the radius to push past the proximity filter. I can PM you some interesting results data. I don't want to post a direct link to my personal FB page where I usually share the results of my tests.

Tim Kahlert ✍️👑 » Marco
Sure. 🙂
Johnson » Marco
You don't have the new Algorithm Blue Print?
Marco » Johnson
I have the math. Works just fine when you hire a math team to work it out.
Johnson » Marco
Interesting so your paying a math team? How does that even help besides costing you an extra bill that you don't need.
I do everything inside my company. Website Design/SEO Department, Social Media Department, Programming/Mobile App Department, etc.
I don't outsource at all; I like to pay my employees well, treat them well, have given ones that deserve percentages of my company. I find with them getting to own part of the company plus bonuses and good pay is the best motivation!
Also you can see what is being updated to adjust the Algorithm by using your WordPress as it lines up with changes to the Google Algorithm. So everytime you see a WordPress release new info make sure to read it everytime. It basically is telling you exactly what Google is adjusting towards foe the Algorithm.
IF AND THEN ELSE. That's how I work things out in my head. It helps me line up the logic If it were only that simple AND there were only one algorithm as you suggest, THEN we could all pre-empt Google. Might it be correlational rather than causational?
Johnson » Marco
We all know the Algorithm is constantly changing and WordPress updates are aligned with the Googles Algorithm update. Shhh it's a secret. Hahahaha but for real it is legit.


I don't see how keywords don't matter. Take for example an account for an SEO Consultant. Google My Business (GMB) has no category for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) so we have to use "Internet Marketing". When you search for SEO consultants all that comes up are GMB SEO consultant accounts, no digital marketing accounts come up and digital marketers of course use the category "Internet Marketing". Not all the GMB profiles have SEO Consulting in their name so that tells me that Google is picking up the keywords within the profiles and ranking SEO consultants above digital marketers that are within the same category. Also some of the SEO Consultant's that have a ranking GMB do not have a website.

Tim's post might have been misinterpreted. I don't want to speak for him, but I think he was saying that all of these "factors" we talk about are correlational rather than causational. Strictly speaking, he's right since we don't have the algorithmic variables Google uses.
I don't know I guess I kind of get that but the way I see it and from my example above if you use keywords in your description it has a direct impact on ranking is how I see it, at least for scenarios like the one I mentioned.
Tim Kahlert ✍️👑 » Morris
Hey Jeremy! The reason why Google knows what type of business you have is because it interprets the category, the name and the content on the website (among others) – not keywords in the sections mentioned above.
Morris » Tim Kahlert
Ya I think you're right. Most do have "SEO" in their biz name it's just that some don't but looking again the once that don't, they do have their own website so I see that Google is probably using a combination of both the biz name and the actual website.
Tim Kahlert ✍️👑 » Morris
Finally someone who agrees with me. I already thought I needed a psychologist after today. 🙃

what do you mean no impact

Tim Kahlert ✍️👑 » Wil
Hey Wil! Like, the keywords you would add to these sections don‘t impact ranking directly. Not like you‘d add keywords to a web page and it starts to get attention because of that.

Interesting because I get a lot of views on my images. You'd think that would count for something.

Tim Kahlert ✍️👑 » Glen
Hey Glen! I think that‘s great. It‘s free visibility. I mean the more time people engage with your content the less time they have to scroll through your competition‘s profiles.

But everything you listed is a factor that helps increase CTR and CTR is a ranking factor! So they do matter but are not a ranking factor. Is this your point Tim?

Tim Kahlert ✍️👑 » Casas
Exactly. You can add keywords to these sections – that won‘t make you rank better. That‘s why I said „direct" factor. Many people here didn‘t read the whole post I guess.

Hey Tim,
While I respect most of your posts and authority on GMBs, this information is absolutely incorrect.
While the impact for these signals and "features" is unknown, you can absolutely believe that there is a weight system that goes into each one. Meaning that they do play a roll in ranking a Google My Business (GMB), but at an unknown variable weight.
I have studied GMBs in my group with single variable tests and through the use of hundreds of connected cellphones in data plans, and can without a doubt say that Google Posts, Photos and the GMB Description all helped rank a GMB both singularly and as a meta analysis.
Please feel free to search my group, as I tested with thousands of GMBs.

Tim Kahlert ✍️👑 » Mew
Hi Schieler. Maybe you want to read my post again, not just what's on the image. I said „direct" ranking factors. Direct like a page title on Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search Engine Result Page (SERP), the GMB title, GMB categories, GMB address… The things mentioned above all do play a role for sure, but they‘re not individual ranking factors. Btw, „helped rank" is not equal to „ranking factor".
Mew » Tim Kahlert
Direct is defined as "characterized by close logical, causal, or consequential relationship"
These elements absolutely have close logical, casual and possibly a consequential relationship, especially if removed.
If you believe otherwise, take your best preforming GMB and remove all of these things from them and see if it directly affects your rank or not.
My guess is that they would directly have an impact 🙂

What are your thoughts on what does impact ranking then?

Tim Kahlert ✍️👑 » Scott
Hey Scott! Definitely the GMB title (business name), the address, primary and additional categories, reviews and the website. Everything else seems to be good for conversions and engagement but doesn‘t impact rank directly.


I think Tim, you might be a bit more cautious about publishing such information, having gleaned it from a blog like whitespark, where the analysis is based on a small amount of data.
Unfortunately, though, they and sterling sky – if they report on what affects ranking, it's usually based on a single action, like this: https://www.sterlingsky.ca/do-images-impact-ranking-on…/
After analyzing one image on one page, can you conclude that it works or not?
Because it's too small a sample, there's no margin of error, no more data.
Here everything could have worked and contributed and vice versa.
Let's do an analysis for 1 million, and then we can discuss whether it works or not.
As it happens, at Surfer Local, we have an analysis based on 100 million Google My Business profiles, and?
50% of all the guidelines in Surfer Local are how to write a post (with what keywords), a description of your business, how many photos you are missing.
And you know what, later after optimization, we get reviews like this:
So personally, I think the post is a little misleading.
It's one thing to test this on 3 company profiles. It's another to pull data from a database for 100 million company profiles and see if the top companies actually have keywords added more often in their descriptions and posts.

7 points to improve our local SERP rankings through google my business GMB optimization

You can check out sample guidelines and how often keywords are used in top companies here: https://app.surferlocal.com/…/8fomEGDdAVHGHyrfupj0…
Surfer Local
Tim Kahlert ✍️👑 » Sebastian
Hi Sebastian! Thanks for your comment. My analysis is not based on anyones study, I just posted the Whitespark study to back my claims up. I‘ve been seeing this on hundreds of GMBs: the mentioned things in the open post don‘t seem to move the needle DIRECTLY. It‘s not like when you change the GMB name, address, website, primary caregory – that's when you see instant results, at least after 1 day. Sterling Sky‘s tests are based on quality analysis, not quantity, which is a valid method to test things like this. Why would some changes work on one GMB and not on the other? If I change the title on 100 GMBs I will see 100 changes. If I change the GMB description on 100 GMBs, I will see random fluctuations. The same goes for the rest of what I mentioned. Or do you think keywords are important on these parts? And if so, why is not everyone stuffing them with keywords? Why is instead everyone trying to change and stuff the name with keywords? Because the name is a direct ranking factor, a GMB description a good conversion factor at most.
I‘ll tell you why quantitative methods won‘t give us reliable results. It‘s because the things I‘ve mentioned can help improve rankings indirectly. After you‘ve analyzed 1M GMBs you can‘t tell whether this happened through new engagement or through the direct impact of either the keywords or any other factors that we would consider as ranking factors.
Tim Kahlert ✍️👑 » Sebastian
This is what I see when I click the link:
7 points to improve our local SERP rankings through google my business GMB optimization

What I see here: defending the position/post. It's getting lame to watch the wordplay. I would rather rank another site than watch/waste time on this. Looks like a site for engineers: all the ego's on the line. Sad.

Tim Kahlert ✍️👑 » Ockert
This is a typical SEO debate. And to be honest, you said this post was meant to be controversial, it wasn‘t! I‘ve created hundreds of posts in the past 3 years. I've never done controversial posts by design. I'm just sharing what I've learned. I really didn't expect this to be that engaging. Everything is up for debate, especially in this crazy industry. 😄
And even if the people disagree with me, that‘s something great. I like discussing things and seeing different opinions and being wrong from time to time. (Being right or wrong is just an illusion anyway) That's how you can reflect your thinking. Reflecting leads to real improvement, not just in business.
Nobody should take this personal and a FB group is probably not the best channel to discuss very detailed and scientific strategies.
So what site are you going to rank now? 😜


Read another article: Ten Tips for Getting a Plumbing Business on GMB in the 3-Pack Locally

12 Steps Local SEO Checklist I Use to Rank Local Websites #1 Consistently

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *