Local Search Expert
- Jun 28, 2012
- Reaction score
This is interesting research but I have to admit, I didn't do research on any of the questionable Google+ Local listings referenced. Just sharing...
<a href="http://www.semrush.com/blog/publications/gaming-google-plus-analysis-170k-serps/">Gaming Google Plus [LOCAL]: Analysis From 170k SERPs - SEMrush Blog</a>
Google excels at blocking individuals who try to “game” their Local and Plus products. There is, however, cause for alarm about those who submit fake businesses to Google Local. Potential exists for serious black hat techniques with these products, making them ripe for abuse.
The destination pages for “Google Places” were subsumed into the Plus social platform starting in May 2012 (plus.google.com) and are now “Google Plus Local.” Many SEOs have documented the pervasive problem of those who manipulate Google Local results with fake reviews for businesses. However, thorough research of search engine results pages (SERPs) to detect actual fake businesses and entity submissions to Local has not been done, to my knowledge. Further, a brand with a name that is an exact match to a popular keyword can be made to rank on Google Plus. The ease with which this can be accomplished has not been sufficiently documented.
Some words are more difficult to police because they are very common, but also extremely profitable for companies (and law firms) doing lead generation. These include “loans” and “DWI.” Further explanation of my methodology below*.
Are bad guys behind these Google Local accounts?