More threads by Linda Buquet

Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
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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!

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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.
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.
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."

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