Greetings, my name is James and I will be your instructor for today. We are going to cover a handful of harmful entities in Google Maps, what they look like and why they are harmful to you. Once we step out into the chaotic world of Google Maps you might see people similar to me. But you will know it’s truly me by my white shirt. We only deal with white hat techniques around these parts. You will see other people and entities with grey and black hat shirts. Steer clear of them. They might be tempting to talk to, but will lead you to ruin. Let’s begin.

Careful, that guy is known as a keyword stuffer. What is a keyword stuffer? They are listings on Google Maps abusing the fact that Google’s algorithm likes to exact match business names with keywords. Despite this fact, Google can suspend your listing if it’s found your using names other than your legitimist business name. 

Well if it’s abusive why isn’t thig guy wearing a black shirt? There is a loophole that states, if your business name is really 1st Choice Movers – Movers Jacksonville or if you have a DBA saying so, this listing is now 100% legitimist and would not be removed on grounds of keyword stuffing.

Let’s move on. 

This guy is a little suspicious. He is known as a duplicate listing. A duplicate listing is a copy of a listing on Google Maps. It is usually born by a company creating a brand new GMB profile, when they should of just claimed the original one in maps. It creates more competition than is needed as well as can cause the business itself ranking issues. Some people might think the more copies of a listing at a location, the more traffic one could obtain. It’s the exact opposite. And for you, the less competition overall you have to deal with the better. They wear grey shirts because they are usually made by a business who didn’t know any better.  

Old listings are similar to duplicate listings. They are listings left behind after a company decided to move or close down a location. Like duplicate listings, old listings are made with the intent that more listings is good. Well maybe if an agency is trying to fluff up traffic numbers, but thin about it like this. You have a listing in Boston MA and a listing in Springfield MA. They are about 1 hour and 30 mins away from each other. Also, your company has a strong reputation. Everyone loves your company. Well, now if your services close down in Springfield, those clients have to either debate traveling over an hour to see you or become upset they just spent time trying to see if you service Springfield any more at all. Old listings are also against googles guidelines and should be marked as permanently closed. No sense in competing against listings that are suppose to be closed. Old listings wear grey shirts because not every business thinks of closing down it’s google my business listing.  

Ok stay close as we are about to dive deep into the black hat world. Let’s start with the entity that empowered us to create a full business to fight them. Spammers. They are vampires to society and suck away valuable leads from legitimist businesses. If that wasn’t enough they try to resell the leads they sold back to you, and if you don’t buy them, your competition will. Spam are listings in Google Maps that are brute forced into existence. 

Google’s system struggles desperately to keep them out but can not keep up with the amount of fake listings made every single day. Luckily, our company was able to create a platform that audits and reports spam to Google in a time efficient and tangible manner. On top of that, once the spam is removed we continue to track it to ensure it is never brought back from the grave. 

One might ask, if Google’s army of workers and it’s trillion dollar system can’t do it, how can we? Honestly we believe Google allows a certain amount of spam to exist for an unknown reason. Maybe they find it healthy but the fact is, it goes against their own terms of service and local businesses suffer from spam existing. What does the value of being in the 3 packs mean to you? Well it takes a total of 3 spam listings in front of you to ensure your company is never seen.

Hijackers are a dangerous black hat tactic but a lesser presence in the google map world. What a hijacker will do is try to request access to your listing. If you do not deny the request in 3 days time, the hijacker now has breathing room to try and take your listing over. They could then use your high ranking name brand to redirect traffic to some unknown website or phone number.  

There is currently no method to stop a hijacker except to manually decline their attempt whenever you are notified. At Local Business Protection we are creating a service that will watch your listing and reject any requests made to take over your business.  We will let you know once the service is available. Protect what matters most and for many local businesses, that is their google my business properties.

Fake reviews is as rampant in Google Maps as spam is. Unfortunately, fake reviews are a lot tougher to remove. If you thought Google ignores blatantly obvious spam listings a lot, they ignore blatantly obvious fake reviews even more. It’s a very ambiguous world. It is hard to tell if someone just spun up a gmail account and left a negative review because they are your competitor trying to do you harm or if someone at your store had a negative experience, spun up a gmail account and left their first ever review saying they don’t like your company. How does one know which is fake and which is real? But the fact remains there are thousands of fake negative and positive reviews being made on google my business listings every single day.