Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
Reaction score

Image Credit: Influx Entrepreneur

Bill Slawski over at SEO by the Sea always has the most interesting posts.

In case you are not familiar with his posts, he takes apart Google patents, which really gives us a good glimpse into how Google thinks and elements that possibly are or could be part of the algo.

In this patent Google is attempting to detect fake keyword stuffed business names. BUT it's not what you think at 1st glance. This patent does not appear to be designed to weed out those problematic keyword stuffed, fake business names that are such a thorn in our side!

This one touches on a different spam strategy no one ever talks about, one I had not given a lot of thought to. But it's essentially hijacking a brand, to get traffic.

The example given in the patent, is a search for a Courtyard Marriott that brings up a listing for a business titled: "$28 Lockmith (877) phone#, House, Car, Auto Lockout".

<a href="">Google Fights Keyword Stuffed Business Names Using a Surprisingness Value</a>

The present invention relates generally to identifying fraudulent businesses and business listings. More specifically, the invention relates to determining a ?surprisingness? value for a particular combination of words in a business title based on the likelihood that the combination has appeared in legitimate business titles.

The value may be used to determine whether the business or business listing is legitimate or fraudulent. For example, third party hijackers may ?keyword-stuff? business titles or attempt to include words associated with prominent businesses in a title of a less prominent business associated with the third party

Above is just a partial snippet, click through to read the rest.

Bill also touches on a previous patent he wrote about that used street view to detect real business names.

Additionally he also mentions some of the methods these hackers use to rank for popular terms, which is to get the popular business name or location mentioned in their reviews, etc. You can see that in play in the screenshot for the Marriott example.

Fascinating what hackers will do and how much energy Google has to put into blocking this kind of crap!

<meta property="og:type" content="article"><meta property="og:title" content=""><meta property="og:description" content="">
<meta property="og:image" content="">


Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
Reaction score
Re: Google to Begin Fighting Spammy Business names (finally) ?

Hi Bryan, thanks for sharing.

I had posted about that one earlier so merged threads so would not have split conversations going.

I made the point above that this one does not appear to be targeted at the type of KW stuffed names that drive us crazy every day. It's more like hijacking or piggy backing off big brands to get more traffic, as it the map example Chris showed.

It's looking for words in the name that don't fit. I think that's what the surprisingness factor is. At least that's how I read it. Like "Marriott Hotel Locksmith - Best Lock Out Service - Home - Auto."

But hopefully this patent could somehow help with the types of fake names we see. But that would really require a different algo. Cuz in our KW stuffing scenarios, the names are not mismatched but make sense and pretty much are exact matches to the query.
Jul 23, 2012
Reaction score
Re: Google to Begin Fighting Spammy Business names (finally) ?

Has anyone been able to replicate the search shown in the patent example? I can't seem to.


LocalU Faculty
Jul 18, 2012
Reaction score
Re: Google to Begin Fighting Spammy Business names (finally) ?

I posted it over it in the MapMaker forum and one of the TCs chimed in and said:

"There will be no change. The patent was filed in 2013 and you don't need to wait for a patent to be approved before you use it, so it would have already been implemented 2 years ago if it worked."
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
Y My rival manipulates google autocomplete and now whenever I write keywords on google his name appears Local Search 14
M Google keyword planner vs Ahrefs Local Search 1
W Do keywords in Google My Business (GMB) reviews help ranking Local Reviews 3
Dana Franks Google putting home page title keyword on other pages Organic SEO 6
georgebizpro Google June Broad Core Update Case Study: Keyword-rich domains back on the rise? Google Algorithm Discussions 2
djbaxter Google: There is no SEO advantage to keyword domains Organic SEO 6
Linda Buquet Surprise! Google Top 100 Most Expensive Keywords - Lots of Local Nuggets in Here Local Search 9
E Google preferring EMDs for location based service oriented keywords? Local Search 6
Linda Buquet How to Use Google Trends for Local Keyword Research Local Search 0
Dustybones Missing Keyword Data and the Top Search Queries in Google My Business Insights? Google My Business & Google Maps 8
ColoradoChris Google plus local - added keyword, but now does NAP hurt me? Google My Business & Google Maps 23
ColoradoChris Any benefits from adding keywords to custom Google url? Google My Business & Google Maps 1
Linda Buquet Targeting The Long Tail In Google Local Search w/ Keyword Research Local Search 2
Linda Buquet Fine Tune Local Keyword Research with Google Trends Local Search 1
Weve Got Your Customers Alternative to Google for Keyword Data Local Search 3
D No more keyword reporting from google, unless you use adwords Organic SEO 9
B Google + Local Page Not Showing Up For Multiple Keywords? Help & Support for Google Local 7
Linda Buquet Hot for Local! NEW Google Keyword Planner - KW Research by City Local SEO Tools & Software 40
F Google impressions.. #1 rank for keyword but 0 impressions?!? Help & Support for Google Local 15
rossicone Location Keywords in Google Local+ Listing Local Search 1
E "Duplicate" Profile That Google Claims We Already Manage? Google Duplicates & Merges 1
T Can a Credit Union Create Google Posts Without Falling Under Prohibited Content? Google My Business & Google Maps 1
djbaxter Google My Business Bug Dropping SAB Businesses In Independence, Kansas Service Area Businesses 0
JamesGreenaway Google Insights query Google My Business & Google Maps 1
RobertCarnitas Google Posts Live on GMB, But Not Showing in GMB Dashboard Google My Business & Google Maps 1
rickvidallon How Do You Access The Buttons In Google My Business For Online Services? Local Search 4
NexstarNickR Google Star Rating: LSA vs. GMB All Things Google My Business [PRIVATE] (LocalU) 2
Phil Rozek Google Maps reviews get "New" label for reviews less than 1 month old Local Reviews 5
JoyHawkins Get Live Inventory Displayed on Your Google My Business Listing Google My Business & Google Maps 6
JoyHawkins Google Testing 2-Packs on Mobile Google News: Important Changes & Features 4
Paul Gregory Google Maps default location bias distance and the Google Maps Places API Google Algorithm Discussions 2
Chris Ratchford Google Analytics - setting up goals for click-to-call Organic SEO 2
L Google ranking in Legal Field Organic SEO 1
Cherie Dickey Something funny going on in Google Maps... am I missing something? Google My Business & Google Maps 1
hajnasiewicz Google Marketing Kit: Create Video Local Content 3
S Google LSA Lead Board - How to manage? Paid Search and Local Service Ads 1
krystaltaing Google My Business Bulk Verification Limit Reached? Multi-Location Issues 0
K Unable to get verified in Google for SAB Local Search 14
Matt Chauhan Google Maps showing category that doesn't even exist Local Search 1
djbaxter Brightlocal Tool shows Large Google Local Search Algorithm Update March 10, 2021 Google Algorithm Discussions 1
D Local Services and Google my Business Paid Search and Local Service Ads 2
F Google Maps Citation confusion? Google My Business & Google Maps 3
K Google requiring storefront photos Google Duplicates & Merges 4
Rich Owings Google community challenge to update 100,000 businesses Google My Business & Google Maps 0
cleverlyengaged Advice on Landmarks/POI/Unclaimed Google Map Locations? Google My Business & Google Maps 6
R What steps should I take to get my suspended and denied Google My business approved? Help & Support for Google Local 1
Jac Google My business Photos - Uploaded but not reflecting on contribution page Google My Business & Google Maps 3
AndySimpson Google My Business Opening Date - What Date Should You Use? Google My Business & Google Maps 2
Lanerizz Google Analytics 4 Organic SEO 1
M Google Local Services Ads - Lack of Leads Paid Search and Local Service Ads 14

Similar threads

Login / Register

Already a member?   LOG IN
Not a member yet?   REGISTER

Most UpVoted Answers

LocalU Podcasts

  Promoted Posts

New advertising option: A review of your product or service posted by a Sterling Sky employee. This will also be shared on the Sterling Sky & LSF Twitter accounts, our Facebook group, LinkedIn, and both newsletters. More...
Google Product Exert

Top Bottom