A few months ago, several users started reporting tons of issues with Google returning the wrong listings for branded searches. Businesses that had departments were finding that branded searches were returning their department listings instead.
For example, on this thread, Ellen Works gave the following example.
Although a user searched for “Greiner Ford of Casper”, instead of getting the listing for the dealer, you’d get the listing for their service department.
At first, we thought this was mainly impacting auto dealers, but I was able to replicate it myself in several instances for hotels that had spas or restaurants inside them along with department stores like Walmart.
What I noticed was that when you searched for [brand+location], Google was actually returning results for [brand+location] near [brand+location]. For example, I searched “Walmart Aurora” and it returned a result that was searching for Walmarts near the Walmart in Aurora, thus removing the listing for the correct store completely.
As of earlier this week, several users are reporting that their examples have been fixed. However, not everyone. There are still users on the public thread that are experiencing issues and Dan Leibson has confirmed that several of his examples are not fixed.
As of right now, Google has confirmed that they’re aware of the issue but other COVID-19-related issues are taking priority.
I’m sure the team will return to looking at how to improve car dealership child/parent panel surfacing in the future. But right now, the priority is probably more about other work to support the wide swath of businesses dealing with COVID-19 issues.
— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) April 10, 2020
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