JoyHawkins

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Although online review pollution isn?t exactly a hot-button consumer issue, there are plenty of cases in which phony reviews may endanger one?s life or well-being. This is the story about how searching for drug abuse treatment services online could cause concerned loved ones to send their addicted, vulnerable friends or family members straight into the arms of the Church of Scientology.

Ouch, that's a heck of a hook there, it's a dream headline if ever I've seen one.

It's terrible that things like this are happening right now, Google really does have a moral and ethical obligation to do better, especially when it comes to things like this. Thanks for sharing Joy!
 

Linda Buquet

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Great article about a really bad problem. It's bad enough when scammers rip people off through maps spam, but in industries where it's messing with someone's physical and mental health it's especially bad!

Wow that Narconon sounds scary! Found this link in comments:

Healing Through Magic: Scientology's Drug Rehab Program
 

Colan Nielsen

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Thanks for sharing this Joy. It's mind numbing to even begin to think how deep some of these spam rackets go, and how many are out there that haven't even been detected yet.

I shouldn't have read this right before bed. Something tells me I am in for a sleep full of dreams starring Tom Cruise and a bunch of maniacal SEO's.
 

chadkimball

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one funny thing about this article is google's "response" at the bottom, its a copy paste response from the last big news article about this stuff!
 

JoshuaMackens

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Honestly, who here can say Google really cares about their local product? If there's any company on the face of the earth that has the resources to really do local right, it's Google. And yet they can't get past basic issues like this.

It's just really disappointing.
 

heckler

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Honestly, who here can say Google really cares about their local product? If there's any company on the face of the earth that has the resources to really do local right, it's Google. And yet they can't get past basic issues like this.

It's just really disappointing.

I've found in working with engineers that seemingly simple problems (to a layman like myself) can be incredibly difficult to solve (even for the Googles). And hey, they care about local, they care so much in fact that it's getting monetized :D

In all seriousness though, if you look at local 3-4 years ago, Google has greatly improved the product (IMO).
 

mhodgdon

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Thank you for the share Joy, it really is a problem that is getting out of control. We see companies in our SEO industry totally abusing local and organic by spinning up site after site of the same company with different names and url's and nothing is done. I have even seen it reported in maps and someone overrides the edits.

I know Google makes the penalty harsh when they act, but it just seems they are far to slow to act. When local placement carry's the weight it does I would think it would be more of a priority.
 
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