More threads by zach.todd


Feb 23, 2020
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I wanted to share a free Chrome extension I've been working on for GMB spam fighting. The GMB Scanner spots virtual offices, residential addresses, PO boxes, and more on Google Maps listings. Recently, I added a new section I'm calling the "duplicate attributes view" that will show you addresses, phone numbers, and web domains that are appearing repeatedly in the results.

Hopefully this can help a little to address the spam issue, and make building redressal submissions a bit easier.

Here's a few screenshots of it in action:
EZ1lWQKX0AAzrdO.png ups.png

The new duplicate attributes view:

Here's the Chrome store link for the extension. Always happy to hear suggestions. Happy spam hunting!
That's great Bruce, and I'm always open to suggestions on how to make it more effective.
Hey folks, just released a new feature to make spam patrol a little easier.

If you've spotted a listing you think is worth reporting, there's a new "Copy CSV" button that will extract the relevant details, ready to be pasted into a spreadsheet as a row.

It'll grab CID, name, address, phone, website, as well as any spam indicators it was flagged with.

Here it is in action:


The upgrade should roll out automatically if you already have the extension. If you're not seeing it, try re-installing.

As always, feedback appreciated! Happy spam hunting.
@zach.todd , when your GBMSpy tool reports, "USPS has marked this address inactive", what does that really mean? Is it fairly conclusive evidence that something is wrong with the listing?
Hey @Tim Colling, the address inactive flag is something that the USPS uses to indicate that an address is not receiving mail, or has paused receipt of mail.

Here's a link that describes the reasons behind "inactive" status.

The residential address, P.O Box, and Virtual Office flag types are what I would consider most significant. My own guess as to why "inactive" shows up frequently right now is that many businesses opted to pause receiving their mail while they worked at home, and even if they have re-activated, USPS is slow to update their data.
Hey Zach,

Looks like a great tool! Well done!

Where does the PO Box/Virtual Address info pull from? It is pretty complete or is it user reported? If this answer is found on your site just say the word and I'll go dig there instead of making you repeat yourself :) thanks!
Hey Joshua,

Thanks! The residential and P.O. Box flags come from an API subscription to SmartyStreets. That should be pretty complete throughout the United States, but it isn't 100% foolproof -- some listings, for example, are flagged as residential, but when you take a look in Street View, it's clear that the area was rezoned some time ago.

Virtual office addresses are from a big database that I compiled. The addresses from Maps are run through a standardizing process and then matched up against this database.

I've thought off and on about adding some kind of user reporting aspect to it. Open to suggestions!
Hey Rasmus, I would love to, but there are some challenges there. The two big parts of the spam scanner are address validation and virtual office detection. The service I use for address validation (SmartyStreets) is very affordable in the U.S., but unfortunately their international pricing is too high to use for the Chrome extension.

The virtual office database would be easier to expand, but I would need to do that on a country by country basis, because I'm sure the companies that do this vary by country.
@zach.todd does this only work in Google Maps or is it also supposed to work in the Local Finder? I'm having issues getting mine to work. The duplicates feature looks really cool but so far every listing I've pulled up has it blank.
Hey Joy, it only works on Google Maps. The icon should light up red when on Google Maps, and you should see listings flagged both in the "list" view and on the detail page.

Here's a few screenshots of what you should hopefully see.



The other thing to check, if the icon is red but you're not seeing anything, is to make sure the checkbox in the bottom left corner says "GMB Scanner is ON".

What you see on the list view also depends on what kind of listings you're checking -- law offices tend to show a lot of virtual offices, but plumbers on the other hand may not flag many issues.

I hope that helps!


Got it! So now I'm seeing it. I didn't realize the duplicate attributes only appear when you're looking at a list view.

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