katandmouse

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Said competitor is a PI attorney with a virtual office, actually several virtual offices throughout the state. I've reported him a few times but his listing is still there. In the report I included:
  1. Picture of front door stating it's a shared office space
  2. Picture of building showing it's only 2 stories with limited space
  3. Picture of floor plan showing all the offices (there are only 2 or 3 private offices, the rest are all shared) and the numbers are between 200 and 230 or something like that. His office suite is 1600. Since that is not in the floorplan it's obvious it's a mailbox.
  4. Link to show all his GMBs in this and other cities
  5. Couple of other links showing the other addresses are in Regus or other shared office spaces
He ranks #1 for the car accident attorney [city]. His GMB has hardly been touched, meaning no real optimization at all. There is one photo of a local amusement park. That's it. There are 4 reviews. One has exact match query in it. It is written by a brother of a client, not the client himself. I reported that review because reviews are supposed to be your own experience.

It should be noted that he has more than one website - one for PI that is used for all cities, and another for our city with an exact match url that includes our city name. That's the link in this GMB.

It should also be noted that he has another GMB in the same city at a different virtual office for a DIFFERENT service (DUI defense).

And now to make matters worse, a fake listing just showed up and is in position 2 pushing my client out of the 3 pack. That listing is at a UPS office. There is NO phone number or website, no way to contact anyone, so it appears it's only purpose is to push someone else out of the 3 pack. The other attorney in the 3 pack in #1 position is my other client. I can guarantee you it's not us doing that, so who else has an interest of pushing someone out of the 3 pack? Seems very suspicious to me.

I reported all this. It all still stands.

How is this guy getting away with all these virtual offices? Is there anything else we can do beyond what we are already doing which is just work to be the best choice?
 

JeffClevelandTN

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Hi @katandmouse, I totally sympathize and feel your pain. We have a similar situation with a client that has 23 local competitors and competition is fierce as it is a seasonal industry. Our client's Map ranking had slowly eroded and then we realized what was occurring, there were several competitors that were keyword stuffing their GMB name. We are talking blatant keyword stuffing, one competitor with virtually a sentence worth of keywords following their legal business name. We can "suggest an edit" on Google Maps and often, Google almost immediately approves the edit but the competitors will change it back within one to two days. One of the violators has a business name that is totally fictitious and essentially just a keyword search phrase. I've likewise done the redressal forms and nothing... These violations, like yours, are very frustrating especially since we've also provided compelling evidence. These are no-brainer violations.

I'm about to post a GMB Forum post with our work to-date for just one of the violators and ask for a quality review and see what happens. However, the feedback I've received from a couple of the GMB experts at LocalU/Sterling, even if Google does take action after submitting a redressal the violator can change the name back and won't face any repercussions unless disputed several more times.

Question for you: Did you submit individual redressal forms for each violation or did you submit a single redressal with a spreadsheet?

We are about to throw our hands up and just follow suit and keyword stuff our client's GMB name. "If you can't beat them, join them..." I absolutely HATE the thought of doing this, we pride ourselves in being an agency that goes above and beyond to provide only white-hat SEO work, but Google's complete lack of enforcement is an indirect endorsement of such tactics.

I very much dislike Yelp, but they are much better in vetting and enforcing accurate business listings.

Best of luck in getting your issue resolved. Maybe @JoyHawkins or @Colan Nielsen might have some good news on the horizon in regards to GMB's future plans to address what appears to have become almost an epidemic.
 

JoyHawkins

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@katandmouse

If you have the case IDs from the reports you've submitted, you can post a thread on the GMB forum and I can ask Google about it for you. Whatever you do, don't post the actual name of the business on the thread, or the thread could start ranking for their brand name and you don't want that headache.
 

katandmouse

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@katandmouse

If you have the case IDs from the reports you've submitted, you can post a thread on the GMB forum and I can ask Google about it for you. Whatever you do, don't post the actual name of the business on the thread, or the thread could start ranking for their brand name and you don't want that headache.
Done. Thanks, Joy.
 

katandmouse

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@katandmouse

If you have the case IDs from the reports you've submitted, you can post a thread on the GMB forum and I can ask Google about it for you. Whatever you do, don't post the actual name of the business on the thread, or the thread could start ranking for their brand name and you don't want that headache.
Joy, I posted it in the Google GMB forum quite awhile ago. Nothing was done. It's locked there now. Super stubborn violator gets past GMB rules - Google My Business Community


Can't believe these virtual offices still stand. What should I do? Go get a recording of the gatekeeper stating there is no such person there except on rare occasions?
 

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