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Hello Group. It's been a few months since I logged in. Work-Eat-Sleep has taken over my life. : )

Recently I was sitting at a local suburb and decided to run a query of towing companies in a higher income area...
The spammy results were a little surprising due to the area. I guess no one checks the white collar communities? : )


The question I have for the SEO experts?

#1. I'm assuming you do a little homework and provide evidence to back up the claim? (to make the job easier for Google support)

#2. In your professional experience, what is the best evidence to provide to Google to make the fact-finding mission easier on support, which makes the report worthwhile?

Thanks for your comments
Thanks for your time.
 
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Colan Nielsen

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Welcome back!

Sometimes it's as simple as pointing Google to a streetview image that confirms the business isn't there or that the business name is not what is listed on the GMB listing.

Here's some additional ideas:

  • Does the business name on the listing match what’s on their sign in Street View?
  • Does the business name on the listing match what is listed on their business license? You can look at how a business is registered by searching for them on their state’s Secretary of State website.
  • Call the phone number. How do they answer the phone? When you’re making these calls, call from Gmail so that your number is anonymous and they can’t call you back. Many spammers who create tons of fake listings answer their phone with something generic like “Hello, locksmith” or “Hello, service”. Normal businesses generally answer with their business name. If they answer as just “hello” you can always ask “Hi, I’m trying to make sure I got the right number, what business is this?”
  • Other government documents can be used to verify a business name
  • What name is listed on their website? Often these people will list their name as “keyword 1, 2, 3” on Google yet their About us page on their website lists their real name.
  • Go take a picture of the actual location. Photos can be used as proof.
Address:
  • Does Street View confirm they are at this address?
  • Do a Google search for the address. Does it return a UPS store website or mail service? (Neither of these are allowed).
  • Zoom in on Google Maps to identify other listings that are also using this same address.
  • Drive by the location. Take pictures. Is the business actually there?
  • Call the business and ask for directions to their office and see how they respond.
  • Does the address on the listing match what is listed on their website?
 

camilllg

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Thanks Colen for your answer and Joy for updating the guide! I read it and have a follow up question: how would you go about reporting Google Maps spam when it comes to service area businesses and the address is hidden?

I’m looking at the removalist industry in a particular Australian city where I have identified 6 websites which have exact match keywords in their domain names (“removalist+city”, “city+removalists”, “best removalists + city”, “house removals +city”,” city + house removals”, etc), they all share the same IP address and the websites are owned by the same person. These websites are doing terribly in organic search due to their low quality nature but are ranked very well in Google Maps for these exact match keywords.

It feels that this person has created a dozen of different websites (and GMBs with different phone numbers) for one single service. What would be your approach in addressing spam in this situation?

Thanks for your comments!
 
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