Google Search Issue

I have a client who’s very upset.

I’ve designed a beautiful logo and have designed and built a beautiful website. I’ve set up Google My Business for them, Integrated Google Analytics, Created and connected both Facebook and Instagram accounts for them and optimized their “On-Site-SEO” to a score of 92%. I’ve also submitted their business to the top 35 Local Listings directories to further improve their placement in the organic search results.

They are upset - and I am as well - that when you type in “Sullivan Construction” into a Google search, that they don’t show up at all on the left side in the organic results. The first result is always a company called Sullivan Construction, with a website domain “” but that’s NOT MY CLIENT and this other business isn’t even located in our area. They’re on the East Coast. We’re in the Midwest. My client’s domain is: “

NOTE: Their GMB (Google My Business) panel DOES show up (see screenshot) - on the right hand side on a desktop, but they just don’t show up in the organic search results on the left side.


This client has fired me and I’m trying to regain their trust and retain their business. Not only that, they’re requested (demanded is more like it) a refund for the entire website project because of the poor SEO results. I am fighting to defend my reputation and to retain my client. Not only that but obviously want to understand what’s happening here and how to fix it, so that moving forward this doesn’t ever happen again.

If anyone can help me, I’d be truly grateful! @Eldar? @Norm? Anyone?

Warm Regards,

  • Randy

Maybe because of this…

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Hmmm… After some research, I THOUGHT I had that set up correctly… Are you pretty sure it’s wrong?

I set mine like this:

User-agent: *
Allow: /

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What does the forward slash do?

Also, should I not be including the address to my sitemap?

Yes definitely include the sitemap address. I’ve never really studied this in detail and just gone with what works for me. There is tutorial here:

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I’ve updated the robots.txt file as you suggested but left in the sitemap reference at the bottom. Here’s the tutorial I had used as a reference…

I think anything that follows a / is specifically included or excluded dependent on what is written elsewhere. For example you might wish to exclude the wp admin area or a directory being used for development. I have a domain for development where I exclude all robots deliberately via htaccess.

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@Flashman, First off, thank you for taking the time to try and help me with this!!!

I just read the tutorial you sent. Apparently there are two ways to accomplish the same thing. The way I had it apparently accomplished the same thing as you suggested.

So my problem apparently remains. Do you have any clue why my client’s website isn’t showing up at all in the organic results, even when typing in their exact business name? I’ve done everything I can think of - from on-site SEO optimization to Local Listings citations, to Keyword optimization to setting up Google My Business, Google Analytics, Social media etc. And STILL, companies from all over the country with the name Sullivan Construction show up first. My client is mad and I don’t blame them. I know I look like I don’t have a clue what I’m doing becuase I can’t give them an answer why this is happening.


Sorry @Creative to hear what you are going through. It sounds like you have spent a good amount of time doping what is right. SEO submission is really time consuming. Can I ask how long has it been since you submitted the required information to place like Google and Bing… etc.

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I am struggling to see a place on the website that says where your client is based. I can’t even see an address on the contact page. To me it looks like you are competing against every company in the world called Sullivan Construction when you only need to rank in the areas they service. It’s not in the home page meta description either. After trawling through the metadata I could only see a reference to Chippewa Falls under the copyright tag.

Also your canonical link is listed as <link rel="canonical" href="index.html" /> on every page and I’ve never seen it like that before. I would expect to see that as <link rel="canonical" href=""/> or <link rel="canonical" href=""/> etc.

What about structured data, including contact details, opening hours and the rest?


If I search Google for “sullivan construction Chippewa Falls” you are right up there and with a few tweaks I bet you would be in first place for there and the surrounding area. Without spending hours on this I just think you need to better define the search criteria with what is expected and how to achieve that.

I had a case a while back with a local carpenter who produces Georgian sash windows and he insisted he could produce these for anybody in the country, so didn’t want to limited to the local area. I pointed out that he was effectively competing with nationwide companies and budgets of millions, so his chances of ranking like that with a small website and no marketing was somewhere south of zero. After 6 months he came back to me complaining that nobody was contacting him, so I asked him to let me try focussing on the local market. Within a month I got him to first place in the county for his chosen those windows.

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@KBConcepts, about 2 months

I HAD changed the canonical tags but when I re-exported from Blocs, it went away. (that would be something @Norm should address)

I just added their physical address to the footer and contact page. (They originally said they didn’t want to include that on the website because they work from home)

Where do I include the physical address in the meta tags?


All I think you really need to do is add something in the page meta description, plus the page contents and possibly page title saying where they are based in terms of area and or the areas they cover.

It doesn’t have to be a precise address as such, but it should be the town & county at the very least. I would add the state as well if they cover a wider area and only you can know that. All of this plus more general text on what they cover should ensure far better results.

For the structured data you probably want a precise address, unless they specified not to do so, but they will have had to do that anyway for a Google business listing, so the information is out there anyway.

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@Flashman, you may very well have just saved my bacon here. I believe not having the physical address was the key. I’ve now included in in the HTML as well as in the meta description. Now all I can do is hope that Google re-indexes the website soon so they start showing up. Any tricks on getting Google to re-crawl the site ASAP?

I would add that while it’s great and essential to be ranking for their company name the real challenge is ranking for the services they offer. Unless people are specifically searching for their company name appearing for that search term alone is not worth a lot, but the other work you have done should help in that regard.

More generally there isn’t a huge amount of text on the website apart from the testimonial page perhaps, so there isn’t a lot of meat for Google to grab hold of. If you really want to rank in more competitive areas you will need more content. Yeah I know businesses like this are not usually great at supplying text.

Is the site listed in Google webmaster tools? If so you could resubmit the sitemap and perhaps have them rescan the site, though I am not sure that is possible with the new setup. It’s been a while since I last checked. Given the number of inbound links you have I would expect Google to visit every day or two, except you actually tell them in the metadata to only visit once a month. <meta name="revisit-after" content="Monthly" />. I would leave them to set their own schedules and I haven’t seen that meta tag in use since the 1990s.


Thank you!


It’s not unreasonable to expect that getting Sullivan Construction to the first page on Google and keeping it there will take years of sustained effort and truckloads of money. I had a few conversations with an experienced specialist about this subject, it’s pay to play with Google and the rest of social media for that matter.

Setting expectation is critical, staying at the top online is constant work, clients need to realize this quickly.


@OSTexo, for sure. All good points. Thank you. I believe that their main concern is that when someone searches for “Sullivan Construction” that they show up first because they are the closest Sullivan Construction by someone performing the search in our area.

The GMB (Google My Business) panel DOES already show up with that search criteria - BUT THAT’S NOT ENOUGH FOR MY CLIENT. They also want to appear on the left hand side in the organic results. (Which I do understand, but don’t think it’s adequate justification to fire me over). Here’s a screenshot of what comes up when I type “Sullivan Construction” into a incognito tab in Google:

They also would of course like to be found for searches like “Contractors”, “Remodeler near me”, “Window Installer” etc etc. But I don’t believe they expect to be #1. I WAS very careful to cover that early on. But I do believe they’d like to show up somewhere on the first page, or at the very least, the second page. So anything you can share with me on how to configure the website structure, keywords used in content, Title tags and meta tags, robots.txt file, sitemap.xml file, Description tags, Microdata, etc. etc THAT WOULD HELP ME ACCOMPLISH THIS FOR MY CLIENT would be tremendously appreciated.