• http://localsearchforum.catalystemarketing.com/ Linda Buquet

    I’ve done some consulting and troubleshooting for Geoff in the past on other problems and he called me too regarding rebranding to add his son to the practice. I warned him about all the potential pitfalls and offered him some suggestions to help work around Google’s struggles with name changes. (Gave him some basic advice as a freebie, have not started consult to actually implement anything yet.) Maybe he’s working with Andrew on it which is cool cuz I’m buried.

  • http://twitter.com/TheWinterWitch Lauren Lanni

    How funny that I read this article in my FB feed because I follow Search Engine Land and Dr. Bell has been my dentist since I was a kid.   Love him – he is the best!  Hope this all goes well for him – I think he has been doing a great job with his online and social media presence!  :)

  • http://twitter.com/localseoguide Andrew Shotland

    Hi Linda, I am not working with Dr. Bell.  I heard about his issue and thought it was a good topic for a post.

  • http://localsearchforum.catalystemarketing.com/ Linda Buquet

    Andrew, missed your cute disclaimer at bottom. Glad you have teeth! ;-)

    And yes, good topic! Since Google wants businesses to represent themselves as they are in the “real” world AND since in the real world businesses move and rebrand – it would be nice if it was a little easier to move/rebrand on a Google business listing.

    Lauren – too funny! What a small, small world!

  • http://twitter.com/jeffmcneill jeffmcneill

    Valuable suggestions, but there are ways to gain value from a name change. For example, if a name (and domain name) already has a degree of relevance/expertise. Instead of inventing a new name, see if there are any other relevant domain names that already exist (and are for sale or expired). No need to invent from scratch.

  • http://www.authoritybuzz.com/ Authority Buzz

    Solid tips Andrew. I especially agree with point #3 about not changing domain names. It’s like hitting the reset button. You could do a 301 redirect of course, but it’s not bulletproof, especially on large sites.

  • http://twitter.com/localseoguide Andrew Shotland

    One update to #6.  Add A Keyword and/or Location Term To Your New Business Name  - Google has been known to ding businesses that appear to be “gaming” the system with keywords in their business names, so this strategy is not without its risks.  But then again, no risk, no reward.  Your mileage may vary.  Not available in stores.  If you have an erection for more than four hours consult your doctor.

  • http://twitter.com/localseoguide Andrew Shotland

    True dat Jeff. Although I have seen Google “reset” domains before.

  • http://www.brickmarketing.com/ Nick Stamoulis

    Rebranding is a serious under taking in every way, not just SEO. While I can understand why he would want to do it, it’s important to remember the long term implications of chucking an old brand for a new. Are you prepared to start over with your marketing?

  • http://twitter.com/localseoguide Andrew Shotland

    Agreed Nick.  That said, if the new brand has a lot of potential (e.g. “Quickster Dental”), the long term benefits may outweigh the short term chaos.

  • http://www.orionweb.net/ Russ Offord

    Hi Andrew,
    I was wondering if you would mind explaining how we know that this concept is true:

    “Google uses your business name, address and phone number (aka your “NAP”) as a key signal in its local rankings. It looks at various relevant “citation” sources of local business NAP data … to algorithmically determine [...] how [a business] should rank for various local queries.”

    Where does the idea come from? Have any studies been performed and patents studied, or is it really just observation/experience from many SEOs?

    Thank you. Sincerely, Russ Offord