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Hi Everyone,

I'm hoping you can help.

I have a business in the clothing manufacturing industry in the UK and have worked very hard to make our SEO the best it can be. Recently, I've noticed a new listing has appeared on Google My Business and Organic Search, by someone who is using an exact match keyword, domain and stuffing content.

The main keyword in the industry is "clothing manufacturers uk" and someone has bought the domain "clothingmanufacturersuk .com" and called themselves "clothing manufacturers uk" on Google My Business. They don't have a company registered in this name, they've just created a GMB and website to use this keyword as their company name and it seems to be working as they show on the map stack all over the country and also now in organic search in a very high position.

Screenshot 2021-05-04 at 14.36.40.png


I've looked and at their address there is no company registered there. There are no company details at all available online for their address, or anyone at all with that company name. I don't know what their actual company name is, but this person has started using an exact match trading name to the keyword which is giving them great rankings in search. There is interestingly a clothing manufacturer registered at the address next door to them, so I suspect it may be that this manufacturer has tried their luck at creating an exact match website and GMB using the address next door to them.

After working so hard to achieve rankings for my site, it's very disappointing and disheartening to see this. Is there anything I can do to have this taken care of by Google? Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!
 

jvaquino

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When I was working with some agencies before, we are reporting these types of listings. Like they will check using street view if the business does exist and if not then we report it to support for deletion. Not sure if that is the right thing to do because those guys behind that listing spent $$$ and time to get to that spot. ✌️😅
 
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Thanks for your reply, this is reassuring! How would I go about reporting this type of listing? It sounds like that's the way to go as a start. If you could point me in the right direction that would be great and really appreciated!
 

Jon Hall

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Hey @gcartwright56789 sounds like you'd want to try Google's spam redressal form which *should* get someone from Google's spam team to review and potentially suspend the violating listing. See @BenFisher's excellent writeup linked below.

BUT note the different schools of thought here as suggested by the diffidence @jvaquino adds to his response. It's a weird reality that Google *still* rewards businesses with keywords in their name despite a nominal policy against it. As local businesses, we're left not much more evolved than when we used to pick names like "Aardvark Pest Contol" to be first in the phonebook 😊

By all means, report abusers if you must--I know how frustrating it is. BUT also consider:
A) they're competing under the same, sometimes arbitrary rules as the rest of us to "put food on the table"; and
B) there's plenty of evidence that keywords in a GMB business name *may* be an area to don your gray hat.

I've heard that @Colan Nielsen provided some interesting data / food for thought on B above at last months's LocalU Advanced and can't wait to grab this (I missed the event): LocalU Advanced April 7 On Demand - Local University

Anyway, without further ado, Ben's guide to the spam redressal form:
 
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Thank you for the reply @Jon Hall, I have read through the article and this looks great, I will definitely look in to it some more. Totally get your comments about just trying to put food on the table etc. but if, as I suspect they're actually the company next door just trying to get some easy advantage over the rankings, it doesn't quite sit right! They're also doing the same for another keyword, "swimwear manufacturers uk", so there's some level of trying to game the system.
 

Jon Hall

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@gcartwright56789 💯

And just to be clear, I'm not moralizing. Plenty of that goes around on both sides of this issue. I'm just sharing some different perspectives I've encountered on spam fighting. Given what you describe, if I were in your position myself I would probably report them *AND* see if there is anything I could emulate there (in a less spammy way ofc) to increase my own results :)
 
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@gcartwright56789 💯

And just to be clear, I'm not moralizing. Plenty of that goes around on both sides of this issue. I'm just sharing some different perspectives I've encountered on spam fighting. Given what you describe, if I were in your position myself I would probably report them *AND* see if there is anything I could emulate there (in a less spammy way ofc) to increase my own results :)
Thanks @Jon Hall, this is great!

I've actually noticed while doing some research that it's not just this one keyword it's been done with - there are 4 separate keywords which are very specific to the industry which all have a google my business at the same address. I just noticed this as I was filling in the report. If I report the main one, would you suggest doing separate reports for the others? Or just reporting the main instance and then referencing the others in the text description?
 

Jon Hall

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Someone else here @JoyHawkins @Colan Nielsen @BenFisher may have more experience with the redressal form per se. In my experience getting Google to review things, I usually try to take the more patient one-at-a-time approach (though by all means identify all the offending listings in the first report).

This way, if you receive a thorough and sympathetic review, great, you're done. If you get a sympathetic but not thorough review, you can submit the others the same way knowing that it worked. And if you get an unsympathetic review and nothing happens, you can try the next one with a change of tactics.

Again, though, my experience is mostly with Google reviewing my API related submissions. No doubt someone here has specific experience with these spam listing forms.
 

JoyHawkins

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I just noticed this as I was filling in the report. If I report the main one, would you suggest doing separate reports for the others? Or just reporting the main instance and then referencing the others in the text description?
If all the listings are related (ie: they share the same address) then yes, I would put them on the same report.
 

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