Linda Buquet

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Those that have taken my Advanced Google Local Training have heard me say over and over, that to be successful in this business and avoid all the potential time-eating Google Local minefields - you need to learn to think like Google.

Many of the guidelines and unwritten rules and problems I talk about in training are designed to combat spam, scams, fake listings, hijacking and other types of fraud.

However, a legit business can easily trip a filter too, if you don't know what to look for. It's helpful to understand how Google thinks - because when a client gets suspended or has some other warning message, even though you know you are playing by the rules, usually there is some type of unknown spam filter that got tripped and caused a false positive.

Below is a Google patent discovered by Bill Slawski that goes into some very interesting ways Google 'may' be using to determine if a listing is a fake spam listing or real. BUT it would be easy for an algo to get false positives and throw babies out with bath water too.

This particular patent seems to be about how Google obfuscates their spam algo to make it harder for the spammers to figure out. So instead of just dropping rank or deleting a listing, it may just randomly make the ranking fluctuate so they can't tell if what they are doing is helping or hurting.
(Kind of like drunken Pigeo flux, but intentional.) ;)

<a href="http://www.seobythesea.com/2014/08/google-attacks-reverse-engineering/">Google Patent Attacks Reverse Engineering of Local Search Listings</a>

The title for the patent is Reverse engineering circumvention of spam detection algorithms. The context is local search, where some business owners might be striving to show up in results in places where they don’t actually have a business location, or where heavy competition might convince them that having additional or better entries in Google Maps is going to help their business.

The result of such efforts might be for their local listings to disappear completely from Google Maps results. The category Google seems to have placed such listings under is “Fake Business Spam.”

I share the post above with you, not to say Google is necessarily using the methods in this patent currently. They don't implement every patent.

I share this with you as one more way to learn to "think like Google" and understand the way Google looks at certain types of data. And to show you why penalties don't always seem to be fairly doled out and results sometimes seem random.
(Sometimes it's maybe even random on purpose!)

DAMN! Spammers and scammers just make life harder for the honest business person!

Here are a few other posts by Bill about Google local related patents for your reading pleasure.

<a href="http://www.seobythesea.com/2012/08/google-rank-modifying-spammers-patent/">The Google Rank-Modifying Spammers Patent</a>

<a href="http://www.seobythesea.com/2012/12/google-map-spam/">Google Tackles Geographic (Map) Spam for Businesses</a>

<a href="http://www.seobythesea.com/2013/02/google-patents-identifying-user-location-spam/">Google Patents Identifying User Location Spam</a>

<a href="http://www.seobythesea.com/2013/09/driving-directions-reviews-ranking-signals-google-maps/">Driving Directions vs. Reviews as Ranking Signals for Google Maps</a> Not spam related but interesting...

Very interesting, eh? What do you think???
 
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... it may just randomly make the ranking fluctuate so they can't tell if what they are doing is helping or hurting.

This could explain a few of our clients having this issue. They pop into the pack for a day and pop out of the pack for 3-4 days and then pop in. Will dig in a bit deeper..
 

Linda Buquet

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No I think that may be drunken Pigeon flux AKA different datacenters Justin.
 

steven

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Makes complete sense that she would do this. In a weird way its advantageous that there's these spammers out there, and that she makes it incredibly difficult to reverse-engineer. That makes learning how to think like google and implementing best practices extremely valuable.
 

Linda Buquet

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Makes complete sense that she would do this. In a weird way its advantageous that there's these spammers out there, and that she makes it incredibly difficult to reverse-engineer. That makes learning how to think like google and implementing best practices extremely valuable.

Haha I love that I have everyone calling her a she now!

Fickle, indecisive, beast!
But cunning and clever as a fox is she! :p
 
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