More threads by Patrick Stox

Jan 25, 2015
Reaction score
The guy has been doing this for a while, over a year now. When a listing is reported and removed, which sometimes takes months, he puts up another. Every time it's his phone number, sometimes with UPS store addresses and always linking to the Raleigh SEO Meetup website (I'm one of the organizers and he's not affiliated with us.) His latest one is an Eye Care business, even listed in the eye care category, with reviews for a pc repair business and address hidden. Again, pointed to the Raleigh SEO Meetup website, and number 1. Again, it seems that the website ranking in organic is probably the biggest factor for local.


Very interesting. I'm curious how he verifies the listings. I don't see how this is really driving business? I actually did the search and called the number. The guy that answered seemed genuinely puzzled that I was looking for "Raleigh Eye Center". He was IT services. Clearly the name of the company doesn't matter (except who would call an Eye specialist for SEO or IT - so it does matter with conversions). I'm assuming he verifies via phone.

After reading this, all it did for me was get me pissed off.
He switched it back to his company name and changed the category, probably after you called. The guys actual site used to be for IT/PC services but he switched it to SEO/PPC, but funny enough all the pages currently besides the homepage are about fitness...
I noticed that too. But here's the thing... so much for having NAP be consistent! He picks any name he wants and basically makes sure that his website matches the top ranking organic site (which it still does) for that search term. :D

I'm tempted to try the same thing but that is sooo black-hat that I'd hate myself in the morning. I think your title is probably dead on. The lesson is not to ignore organic search optimization. If you get your client ranking well organically it will also improve your MAPS ranking. Frankly I like that particular aspect of it and it helps connect the dots between MAPS and Organic placement.
All the guy did was throw up a template and edit the home page for SEO. I'm assuming he's still 1st in MAPS by default (it takes time to reshuffle) because his website certainly isn't showing organic placement. I'm assuming once he detects a drop he goes right back to listing the top ranked sites as his own on MAPS and that get's him back up the list. By the way, choosing the site he did ( was not dumb. It doesn't promote any specific company and he gets the leverage the SEO value. (There's not even a phone number associated with that site).
Do you want me to get this taken down? I'm currently going through the list of crap that shows up in Toronto when you search for SEO companies and have so far got a pretty long list of fake listings that I got removed.
Do you want me to get this taken down? I'm currently going through the list of crap that shows up in Toronto when you search for SEO companies and have so far got a pretty long list of fake listings that I got removed.

I'd be of the mind to contact the eye doctor first. Here's why. I'm doing SEO for a local painter now who in the past hired a different SEO who did nothing but black hat for her. I now am cleaning everything up for her to get her from nowhere to be found because of it to the first page. And it's hard, really hard. We don't have logins to anything. They even built a duplicate website on exact match url. It's duplicate content. We not have access to it or the DNS record or the hosting account to take it down. It's a mess. When I told her about it, she said she had no idea and she is practically in tears because she feels so betrayed.

She's not alone. There are many like her. That eye doctor may be the same. If it were me, I'd email him to tell him what's up. You might be able to get business from it, but he may not trust you, and then blame you when his site goes down. So there is that risk. So maybe don't offer to help. At least give the guy a chance. His business is at stake. (I'm assuming he's innocent of course. If he's part of it, then slap him.)

Looks like the listing already got removed. I can't find it anywhere. In this case it looks like he either hijacked one of their listings or set up a different one that was completely fake. In either scenario, fixing it would actually help the eye business.
Nope. I called the guys this morning (just to mess with him a little). The phone number has NOT changed. The name changed from the Eye Doc to Automatek Marketing Solutions but THIS IS THE SAME LISTING... just edited. Same phone number. Different name, different website. The website is weird too. Home page is all about SEO. Subpages are all fitness... clearly just an applied template with no effort to fix it.

So now the question is this. Is the IT shop doing the SEO or are they getting played by someone they're paying who is telling them "Look! your getting phone calls!". It certainly seemed like the latter when I called them this morning. They seemed quite oblivious.:confused:
Do you want me to get this taken down? I'm currently going through the list of crap that shows up in Toronto when you search for SEO companies and have so far got a pretty long list of fake listings that I got removed.

Thanks Joy, if you know of a permanent solution that would be great and I'd love to know how. It doesn't really affect me as much as it would some of the local search and web design companies. The guy has been doing this off and on for over a year now. I normally just suggest edits and they fix it. After 50Bubbles called today, the guy changed the category and name back to normal, but left the website as Meetup. I suggested the change back to the normal website and got an instant confirmation actually, which is the first time I've seen that, but maybe because it's been changed before and I've suggested the correction? It sucks even worse knowing that the address is hidden, but it's probably the same UPS store where it's been and I've reported.
If you get an instant approval it's because Google is sure of the data. I just reported him. The address he's using is a UPS store ( which automatically means the listing is not allowed. I also noticed the reviews on his listing reference a business that doesn't operate anymore (Raleigh Geeks Computer Repair):$455000/773319/ which makes me think he hijacked their listing or was affiliated with them at some point.

I asked Google to completely ban him and if they do that it should prevent him from being able to create future listings. However, if one slips through, please let me know and I'll report that too ;)
Google got back to me - the listing is gone now :) Let me know if this guy resurfaces.

Login / Register

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

LocalU Event

LocalU Webinar

  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...
Top Bottom