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Ricardo151, post: 261000, member: 103068 wrote:
Thanks guys for information and advice.
The question I would like to get straight though is when I am creating suburb pages can I get away with similar content or should I try to be original as possible?
FS Business Owners,
The search ranking environment is changing by the hour. Sometimes it is a relatively slow change but at others it is tornado-like. We are currently in a period of tornado-like rate of change and Google has to adjust some of its hundreds of ranking point score levers on a daily basis to still deliver the “best” or “most relevant” results.

I ran the same search query on 25th and 27th Jul 18. The query: plumbers Sydney

The result was that there were only 2 web pages from the top 10 that retained their same places.

Hi Ricardo & AJ,
You want a simple answer when there is none.

Get it wrong and Google can hit you with manual penalties from which your site may never recover. Even if you are not penalised, it all depends on the competition for the individual location words.

There are heaps of examples where people are still trying this suburb landing page approach and it currently works for some suburbs but not others.

I suspect you may be taking too narrow a view of the individual word ranking signals that G could be using and the point scoring values it may place on them in its new mobile index world.

At this point, all we have is our experience, observations and SE theory to go on. G is giving us nothing specific.

1. Search Examples
On 25 Jul, spsplumbers.com.au ranked #10 for “plumbers Sydney” – it dropped to #11 two days later.

It has published 663 different “plumbers (+suburb)” landing pages. (See: spsplumbers.com.au/areas/)

Its Search Query Results:

  • Plumbers Sydney: Ranked #10 (Home page) on 25 Jul
  • Plumbers Peakhurst: Ranked #2 (landing page)
  • plumbers Chatswood: Ranked #12 (landing page)
  • Plumbers Abbotsford: Ranked #19 (landing page)
    Plumbers Penrith: Ranked #23 (landing page)

Without further exploration, results are all over the place.

2. Link Spam & Thin Content WARNING!
I happen to have retained some search history for the query: plumbers Sydney

Jul 2011:

  • All but one of the top 10 pages were using spam link building tactics and/or thin content landing pages to target various “plumbers +(suburb name) searches.
  • There were no general directory pages in the top 10 results.
  • There were no quote or review sites at this time.

Oct 2011:

  • Four of the original pages had been demoted out of the top 10.
  • First appearance of a directory page (homebuildersaustralia.com.au/sydney-plumbers.html)
  • Still no review or quote sites listed.

Oct 2016:

  • Only one of the Oct 11 pages still in the top 10.
  • Top 10 now include internal pages from Oneflare, Yellow Pages and Jim’s Plumbing appear
  • It seems G dropped manual penalties on some of the original Jul 11 sites. Some have been republished without suburb landing pages. One or two seem to have copped a manual penalty from which they did not recover. A couple even switched to new domain names and site overhauls. (Still not in the top 10.)

It looks like G’s Panda, Penguin and manual penalties have run rife on the original sites and the republished new versions of them.

27 Jul 18:

  • At this point we have to consider G’s RankBrain and the initial phase of the mobile index roll-out.
  • This is a very unstable search environment. Some sites have published mobile versions, others have not.
  • One school of mobile publishing thought is that you need to write short content pages in the mobile world, others think long content pages are best.
  • We can see that many new mobile site designs seem unconcerned about web site structure and link text, others are not.
  • Some sites rely on user generated content which means their pages are constantly changing. Eg. Now, five of the top 10 are internal pages from general directories, vertical directories, tradie quote sites or a franchise site (Jim’s Plumbing).

3. Possible “suburb” Signals
This list of possibly boosted mobile index era ranking factors is speculation…

  • The consistent use of the real business’ location in Google My Buz, Facebook and Yellow Pages.
  • The inclusion of a suburb name on a site’s Home page.
  • A landing page that answers “searches related to…” queries. (I take these to be RankBrain signals.)
  • A possible need for multiple specific “suburb” pages in some situations.
  • How multiple “suburb” word pages are linked & structured

You will note I’ve not included external links. I really don’t see them playing any significant factor when you see the YP, Oneflare, Home Improvement pages in the SERPs.

When all is said and done, the quality of search results depends on the availability of “quality” pages. Sometimes there are no “quality” pages to be found or G may need to adjust the ranking levers so the “quality” pages are boosted in the SERPs.