All The Details You Should Know In Google Fake Maps

2018 Sept. 24


Fake Maps

Google had conducted a brief study to research the factors behind fake listings on Google Maps in 2017.

Possum update in 2016. This algorithm update was liable for making proximity to the searcher the #1 ranking factor for local search results. This made the companies to make fake listings, As they wanted more “Location” in order to capture the local search results and expand exposure.

The findings from the research done by Google as follows:-
  • Majority of the Listings that got discarded were in the United States and India ( From total listings 74% percent were only observed for the study)

  • Over 40% of the listings were from the industries that are on-phone, such as electricians, plumbers, and locksmiths

  • 54 Percent discarded listings in the United States were from the six states as follows:- New York, Texas, California, New Jersey, Illinois, and Florida.

The Study also focused on listings that were discarded due to marketing companies violating the verification process and gaining ownership of the listing without the approval of the business owner.

This majorly happens in the restaurant industry, where marketing companies will develop a duplicate copy of the website and include an ordering/booking link on it. Then charge from the business owner for all the orders placed through their system. After all, this happens without the consent take the ownership of the business listing through Google My Business, and business owner is in confusion & trouble by paying for a transaction that customers find the listing on Google.  

Google Algorithms are getting better and smarter at identifying spam and discarding them. However, below are considered issues with Google Maps spam that this study did not cover.

  • Google My Business
    The phone support team of Google My Business lacks the ability to figure out what is spam and how to identify it.

  • Keyword stuffing in business names
    Keyword stuffing in business names has been spamming strategy that has worked really well since Google places initially came into existence. As of now, there is no penalty for businesses that purposely include extra words to their business name to improve ranking. Rather, they are yielding benefits unless someone informs Google  When informed to Google, Google may remove the keywords from the title, but then to business owner can include the keywords through the Google My Business dashboard.

  • Virtual offices.
    There are multiple and enormous fake listings by using virtual offices and these fake listings go completely undetected by Google.

  • Several Listings that are set up using employees’ home addresses
    In order to capture the local search results business owners had made several listings in several cities using the home addresses of their employees and kept claiming the listings all are legal.

  • Photo Spam
    Spammers upload a large number of photos presenting their products & services on the competitor's listings.

  • Review Spam
    Business owners submit fake positive reviews of their own business by creating multiple fake accounts and also encourage others to submit negative reviews on their competitors' services all by paying money.

The research was worthwhile and paid off as Google got to know the loopholes and made better algorithms in order to serve its customers on basis of rules & regulations rather than influence and money.

Conclusion:

Remember and keep in mind, not to follow the above tricks to get on the top of the search results of Google. 

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