More threads by Linda Buquet

Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
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Now that +Local Search is gone I needed a new research tool for local ranking troubleshooting, duplicate discovery and spam research.

I had used Michael Cottam's Google+ My Business Page Finder a long time ago, but at that time we had tools that worked like Classic maps and +Local Search.

Now that we are left with Map Maker - and it's such a terrible solution for dupe and spam research...
I finally made time to try Michael's tool again.

MAN am I glad I did. I have a new best friend!

Let me illustrate why this tool is so much better than Map Maker.

EXAMPLE: A Chiro comes to you and says "I have a great G+ Local listing and good onsite SEO, but I'm still not ranking. Can you help me?"

The 1st thing I would do (if I still worked with clients, which I don't) before I even had his initial initial consultation, would be a quick audit to check for dupes or violations to gauge if extra work would be required or see if he was too spammy for me to want to work with.


tl;dr Version - No phone#, no website, on 1st search page & no link to G+ L at all!

<img src="" alt="DupeSpamResearchMM" width="55%" />

Note: The link you see does not go to G+ L or even show website, only shows NAP.​

Wow what a mess! FYI I've used this guy as an example before and turned him in for spam a couple times to no avail. Many, many violations!

I would not touch this one with a 10 foot pole. However, if you were going to consider it you'd want more info right? You'd want to see if they were all using the same site and landing page. Would want to check phone #s. May want to click through to see the G+ L page to see if all are claimed or if some are maybe just unclaimed scraped dupes, right?

Well you can't do ANY OF THAT from Map Maker. Not without multiple clicks, drags, copy & paste.


You'll see that the links in screenshot don't take you to the G+ L page. The 1st click does not even show you website or cats. Only shows NAP. If you click #1 to check further you can see phone, but you have to click again to see site.

Then have to go back and look at #2, all those same clicks. But you can't see everything on the same page, only 1 at a time. So then by the time you are down to #5 if you are old and spacey like me you think - "wait, which one of those 1st 4 had a different website?" You can't see without making 2 clicks per listing and have to go back through them all.

THEN if you want to go investigate the G+ L page you have to copy name to maps then copy phone to maps to try to get that specific fake name listing, because maps won't show you all these listings so you'll need to do a very specific NAP search to pull up the one you want.

PLUS he has other listings under a different phone # so you need to do a search by Chiro address or the other phone and do all those extra clicks to research all those as well. NIGHTMARE!

It would take 100 clicks and a TON OF TIME NONE OF US HAVE TO WASTE! Can you tell by all the red in this post how much Map Maker for research just makes my blood boil???

Check out Joy's post below to see all the steps needed to do this research in MM:
<a href="">Step-By-Step Guide to Finding Duplicate Google Plus Listings on MapMaker</a>


tl;dr Version - Everything you need at a glance PLUS link to G+ L page and lander

<img src="" alt="DupeSpamResearchBizFinder" width="75%" />​

Shows ALL the same listings but...

- FULL NAP+W shows, so don't have to do extra clicks to see phone or web site

- Can see all details of all listings at a glance (Without clicking)

- Direct links to G+ L page AND directly to landing page

If I had time & carpal strength, I would do a comparison of how many clicks and how much time it took to thoroughly research all these listings. It would be crystal clear how much of a time saver Michael's tool is.

Check it out and see what a huge time saver it is!


When I 1st tried this tool a long time ago I didn't like it because it pulled a lot of unrelated results that needed to be sifted through. He added some GEO coding that greatly improved the results. Since it uses the Places API, in the limited tests I've run it pulls the same results that MM would show.

He explains above that you can do Phone # search in the biz name field. Since that's the 1st pass most of us make when dupe hunting, just wanted to mention phone search works perfectly. And as you can see in the example above, it pulls the same results that MM would.

I just reached out to Michael with some ideas for making this tool even better. He's traveling to conferences the next couple weeks, so we'll collaborate when he gets back.
I'll keep you posted and just may have a treat in store. We shall see...

Try it! And please let us know what you think???
<meta property="og:type" content="article"><meta property="og:title" content=""><meta property="og:description" content="">
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re: GMB Dupe Finder & Spam Hunter - Infinitely Better Than Map Maker

Now again, personally if this guy came to me and I saw he was this spammy and had this much of a mess to clean up, I'd let him walk.

However another consultant might take him on, but they would be totally screwed if they didn't research 1st and build in extra fees for the extra clean up work it would take to right all these wrongs. AND they'd be remiss if they didn't set the expectation, that even after clean up, he could have a penalty hangover that lasted for months, due to all these violations.

Curious if any of you would take on a client that needed this much clean up?
re: GMB Dupe Finder & Spam Hunter - Infinitely Better Than Map Maker

Great find, Linda! I relied on G+L heavily to reveal dupe issues and now that it's gone I haven't had much luck producing the same information for ranking issues.

As for that serious case of web spam, I would only take on the client to help clean the mess but I wouldn't promise any rankings. But even then I would be hesitant. Who knows what other messes might be lying in his assets.
re: GMB Dupe Finder & Spam Hunter - Infinitely Better Than Map Maker

Thanks for weighing in Michael!

FYI a good discussion started at the <a href="">Local Search Pros Community</a> too.

So far everyone there is happy with the results and really likes it!
re: GMB Dupe Finder & Spam Hunter - Infinitely Better Than Map Maker

I put this post in the Google Local IMPORTANT sub forum because dupe and spam research is critical.

BUT I wanted to be sure I pinned a post down in the Duplicates and Merges sub forum since many of my previous posts about dupe research there, refer to tools that have now been deprecated by Google.

So the post below is an easy to find sticky in the dupe forum and includes a link to Joy's post about dupe research in Map Maker as well as this post about Michael's tool.

<a href="">UPDATE: Google Local Duplicate Discovery - Now that Our Best Google Tools are Gone</a>
re: GMB Dupe Finder & Spam Hunter - Infinitely Better Than Map Maker

Shoot. How were you searching in both tools Joy?

Because it looks like he has a scrambled up mess with diff phone #s and maybe even addresses.
I can't click through to all those links to look individually.

Which specific query did you use when you said:

"4 closed listings, 2 practitioner listings and 1 practice listing and it only returned the practice listing."

(I meant to try to find a case that had closed listings to be sure they showed up via the Places API but I ran out of time and that post got way too long as it was. Then I forgot but that's one important thing I should have checked.)
re: GMB Dupe Finder & Spam Hunter - Infinitely Better Than Map Maker

They were all showing up with a phone # search in MM. Now the 2 practicioner listings show only if you search via address b/c he decided to change the phone # on them.
re: GMB Dupe Finder & Spam Hunter - Infinitely Better Than Map Maker

Thanks Joy! (Missed your comment when I posted this)

But even if it does not show closed listings, which I agree are super critical to uncover...

For me with RSI every click counts. And for everyone else time matters.

So I think I would still use the tool for the 1st pass research. Then double check for closed listings with MM.

It's the open listings that you often need to click through to research more. And that's where you need see all the different live listings with complete NAP+W. And that's where you need to click through to G+L to check if claimed or violations, etc.
re: GMB Dupe Finder & Spam Hunter - Infinitely Better Than Map Maker

When Michael gets back I'm going to talk to him about this.

If the Places API omits closed listings, then nothing can be done about that. But I'll ask if he can parse the exact query into a MM link and then add the link at the bottom of the results and say: "Double check this query in Map Maker."
re: GMB Dupe Finder & Spam Hunter - Infinitely Better Than Map Maker

thx for sharing this Linda

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
This is really weird.
Every time over the last week I've attempted to use the tool I get page not available, connection timed out.
Priya said once for her it didn't work, and once it seemed to.
Linda, if you're talking to Michael, can you find out if he has some international block on things? Either that or his server's getting hammered and I'm on the end of the queue...
Hmmm... weird. I just tried it and it's fine.

He's in France right now and last time I emailed him, to let him know about all the posts I did to share his tool, he did not even reply. So he must be super busy or not checking email. So I was just going to wait until he gets back to talk to him further.

How about trying a proxy?
Hi Margaret,

What I've found - and this is really weird - is that it won't work on my NBN connection (internode) but will work on my Telstra 3G mobile connection!

That's at all different times of the day and night so there's certainly something weird going on. I meant to try connecting today whilst out and about but completely forgot.

I'll try tomorrow on the cafe's wi-fi and see what happens :)
Hey guys. Just found ANOTHER Dupe hunter!

Same concept but slightly different results and a couple more features.

Searching for duplicate listings - free tool

If you need NAP for for a quick dupe test, use the data from my example in the top post.

Phone: (512) 219-8999 Then start typing address and pick this one:
1500 West 38th Street Austin, Texas 78731, United States

This one has the addition of showing whether or not the listing is verified. :)

Then click the blue button under one to search for more dupes. That basically will show you the same listings BUT now in the upper right... ta da...

There is a link to various searches directly on MM which is one of the suggestions I made above.
So you can do an easy click over to double check or see if there are any closed listings.

The developer must be reading this thread. I don't know him, but he just joined our Pro Community.

Try it those of you across the pond and let me know if it works any better for you.
Oh that is nice Linda!

Works perfectly for me using your example so very confident it will work on my own searches as well.

Thanks for all the research you're doing here into finding alternative tools!
At least I can access the bulgarian one :)
Have noticed it's not pulling up closed listings...
At least I can access the bulgarian one :)
Have noticed it's not pulling up closed listings...

Glad it's working for you.

I think they are both using the Places API which must filter out closed listings.

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