October 30, 2014 at 12:20 pm #5719J.R. PortmanParticipant
I know there are a few Bright Local users on here, and I have just completed a trail of their services and found some to be really useful, particularly the G+ local wizard for both category comparisons to competitors as well as for potential client presentations. However, and this is a BIG however, the search rankings that they attach to all their reports seem to be way off, and I can’t get an answer to why after several “let me look into that” by the support team, who are extremely difficult to get in touch with by the way. I would like to continue using their tools as I believe they are a useful addition to the SEO arsenal, but as long as the rankings are wrong, I can’t use any of their reports for clients as I’d be serving up serious mis-information. Has anyone else had this issue with Bright Local’s services as of late?October 31, 2014 at 7:24 am #5727Linda BuquetMember
Lots of ranking reports are off right now, not just Bright,s.
It’s due to Pigeon and largely because of what I’ve explained a few times about the different rotating datacenters. Most of the tracking software hits one of the old data centers that still has the pre-Pigeon algo and ranking order, but there are several other issues at play as well, as outlined below.
Myles explained it at my forum and Darren from WhiteSpark and Mark from Places Scout both weighed in. I hate to link out, but since it’s complicated and no way to condense it all down, I don’t see any other way to give you all the facts.
So Brights results are accurate, if we were back pre July 24th, but they don’t match up with today’s SERPs.
But since Myles is aware of all the reasons and can explain them, AND since I’m sure they are getting a ton of complaints, you’d think they’d have an explanation written up that support could give out.
And on the other hand if Darren and Mark can figure out a work around, not sure why BL has not.
Hope that helps and best of luck.November 2, 2014 at 5:40 am #5735Mike BlumenthalKeymaster
The upshot is that Brightlocal is looking at the old Map ranking as opposed to new Map ranking. That being said, going forward ranking reports are becoming ever less valuable and trust worthy.
The reason for this is that Google is better understanding searcher location and using that and increasing personalization they are delivering different results for each searcher. The differences are even greater than those seen just be changing location in Google. It is very difficult for any ranking program to emulate this increasingly personal configuration that drives results.November 2, 2014 at 8:58 pm #5742J.R. PortmanParticipant
Thanks for the link Linda. I figured it was a Pidgeon problem, but since I haven’t been able to get any response from BL I wasn’t able to confirm my suspicion. It was nice to be able to read feedback from Myles himself, though a little embarrassing to read how his competitors have it figured out but he doesn’t.
Mike – I tend to downplay the reliance on ranking to my clients for the reasons you stated, and try to recommend a holistic approach to local SEO, but it is can be difficult when businesses can see their competitors name show up instead of theirs and they get ranking tunnel vision. In the case of these BL reports, it is a real problem because all of there reports show rank and there is no way to turn this feature off. Thus, until they figure out how to adapt their reports to the new algo or allow the user to turn off the ranking feature, then they are simply unusable in my mind.June 29, 2015 at 7:15 pm #8333chris ericksonMember
I know you posted this some time ago, but I noticed this and stopped using BL for the same reason. While I hear that ranking reports are getting less accurate, BL has a serious problem right now. One of the things I noticed is that they were counting the local pack rankings against you (while not counting YOUR local result).
An example I found;
Client ranked #2 for organic keyword on 2 other rank checkers I used (and according to my search). BL shows them as 2 + whatever sized local pack is showing, so 5, 7, whatever. Huge glitch in their system. This type of result was repeated for all of my clients. They were clearly consistently #2 in organic. BL is consistent, but consistently wrong.
After that, I looked around. I liked RankTrackr (super simple) and Whitespark (love their interface, trend graph and simplicity). In the end, I went with RankRanger for one reason; client access to my subdomain and customization of dashboard. If you don’t care about client access, I strongly recommend Whitespark.
Glad someone else noticed what I did. They acted like I was the only one!
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