Colan Nielsen

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Hey @Durandl I advise business owners against keyword stuffing for a couple reasons. Mainly because Google does take action on it. It's not often but the penalty can range from simply correcting the business name to a hard suspension. How Does Google My Business Penalize Keyword Stuffing: 50 Examples [Case Study] - Sterling Sky Inc

I also think consumers are getting smarter when it comes to finding businesses online. It's not difficult to sniff out something off about a business that's called "Car Accident Attorney Toronto". So my hypothesis (which I haven't tested) is that keyword stuffed listings have lower conversions than legit looking listings.
 

JoyHawkins

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A smarter way to go about it would just be to change your business name & branding. That way you aren't breaking guidelines but still reaping the benefit.
 

Durandl

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Hey @Durandl I advise business owners against keyword stuffing for a couple reasons. Mainly because Google does take action on it. It's not often but the penalty can range from simply correcting the business name to a hard suspension. How Does Google My Business Penalize Keyword Stuffing: 50 Examples [Case Study] - Sterling Sky Inc

I also think consumers are getting smarter when it comes to finding businesses online. It's not difficult to sniff out something off about a business that's called "Car Accident Attorney Toronto". So my hypothesis (which I haven't tested) is that keyword stuffed listings have lower conversions than legit looking listings.

Thank you very much it makes sense. I just hate it but business gain advantage in the wrong way
 

Durandl

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A smarter way to go about it would just be to change your business name & branding. That way you aren't breaking guidelines but still reaping the benefit.
Thanks Joy. Not so easy once a business has been going for a certain amount of time as it would have some major impacts
 

Colan Nielsen

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Thank you very much it makes sense. I just hate it but business gain advantage in the wrong way

The way I see it you can either join the spammers or put effort into "fighting" the spam. From my experience the benefits with a long-term and sustainable outcome comes from fighting spam, not joining in on the action.
 

Phil Rozek

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@Durandl, what Joy and Colan said, plus a few points.

One is it's a race to the bottom. Your competitors are probably willing to go lower than you are - to out-spam you. If you're doing the same things they are (or perhaps a "lite" version), you're not in a position to neutralize their advantages through an anti-spam regimen.

Another consideration is you're building on a foundation of sand. You're one high-level Local Guide / Google Maps do-gooder away from having any rankings advantages wiped out, while your competitors' ill-gotten advantages may stand (for whatever reason). Even if it works well for a time, boy, do you have sleep with one eye open.

Also, name-spamming just doesn't work that well, at least in the long-term and in terms of helping you get more business. I've worked with a good number of reformed Maps-spammers: business owners who realized the keyword-stuffing tactics and the like weren't so effective, or suddenly stopped being effective. They saw a dip in customers, and realized other parts of their business needed work. I'd suggest looking at what else you can work on.
 

JoshuaMackens

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I'm going to, respectfully, give a different take.

People don't get caught that often putting keywords in their name. They do it all the time. They never seem to get "caught" and while you are one report away, it seems like typically all that happens is they ask you to correct your name. There are not enough cops and not enough punishment currently. So, honestly, why not? I don't do spam because I don't like the idea of getting hit and having to explain it to the client. I also don't think I need it to rank well. But if you're struggling to rank and your client understands the risk, why not honestly. It's really gotten to this point with Google's lack of enforcement. Also, this has been an issue for years. If they really cared, they could have fixed it by now. A patch to the algorithm to either quit taking keywords into account for the business name or at least turn the signal down is pretty simple. They just don't seem to care. And it correlates with their enforcement. Honestly, why spend time enforcing something that would take a simple patch to fix? They don't care to fix it and don't care to enforce it.

Also, I would not encourage you to change your branding for SEO benefit. If you have a lot of brand equity already, that's damaging. If you don't, then it's less of an issue but what happens if by some miracle Google actually does fix this and you get no more benefit? You sacrificed one of your most important marketing tools (branding) for something that doesn't work anymore. And even if it does continue to work, SEO should not be your 100% source of new leads. You should be diversified (and if you aren't, that should be your goal). And if you are diversified, don't sacrifice your branding for SEO when you need to take it into account for the rest of your marketing as well. Branding, your message, is incredibly powerful. Let it stand on its own. Lead systems should work for your branding, not the other way around.
 

Durandl

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@Durandl, what Joy and Colan said, plus a few points.

One is it's a race to the bottom. Your competitors are probably willing to go lower than you are - to out-spam you. If you're doing the same things they are (or perhaps a "lite" version), you're not in a position to neutralize their advantages through an anti-spam regimen.

Another consideration is you're building on a foundation of sand. You're one high-level Local Guide / Google Maps do-gooder away from having any rankings advantages wiped out, while your competitors' ill-gotten advantages may stand (for whatever reason). Even if it works well for a time, boy, do you have sleep with one eye open.

Also, name-spamming just doesn't work that well, at least in the long-term and in terms of helping you get more business. I've worked with a good number of reformed Maps-spammers: business owners who realized the keyword-stuffing tactics and the like weren't so effective, or suddenly stopped being effective. They saw a dip in customers, and realized other parts of their business needed work. I'd suggest looking at what else you can work on.
Many thanks for your input Phil. Love your blog BTW
 
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