matt_vt

Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2019
Messages
6
Reaction score
1
Hi there,

I just had a massive influx of SPAM listings in my area for a curtain and upholstery cleaner. They all appeared within the last week. I've been suggesting edits and Google has been accepting most of them, which is good, but with SPAM this obvious, how does it make it through Google? These appear to be mass published, private residence address with no valid business name and no contact information other than the address on most listings.

I actually called that HJVH number to see where it went. Somebody picked up as 'Upholstery Cleaning' and was pretty keen to know where I found the number. He gave me a website that didn't go anywhere and a business name that I can't find anywhere online. It looks like they do this throughout a lot of Australia (2nd screenshot is from the Sydney area).

My guess is that it's an overseas company that sets this up as a lead gen service, but what do you think? How does this much spam get created in such a short period of time and are there any redressals other than one by one?

1605221207576.png

1605222013805.png
 
Solution
@matt_vt, Google does extremely little quality-control itself. Pretty much all of it is crowdsourced to business owners and others who keep an eye on the map. To your credit, you send in edits and try to keep the spam from getting out of control, but of course that shouldn't be your burden.

It's very easy for someone to crank out that many pages. Either they have an employee (or other contact) who can receive mail at an address in each of those towns, or at an address in the general area, and then after verification they just hide the address and let the keyword-spammy name do the heavy lifting. If they create a GMB Website with the right "branding," or if they don't point the GMB page to a website at all...

Phil Rozek

Local Search Expert
Joined
Jul 26, 2012
Messages
1,885
Solutions
12
Reaction score
1,457
@matt_vt, Google does extremely little quality-control itself. Pretty much all of it is crowdsourced to business owners and others who keep an eye on the map. To your credit, you send in edits and try to keep the spam from getting out of control, but of course that shouldn't be your burden.

It's very easy for someone to crank out that many pages. Either they have an employee (or other contact) who can receive mail at an address in each of those towns, or at an address in the general area, and then after verification they just hide the address and let the keyword-spammy name do the heavy lifting. If they create a GMB Website with the right "branding," or if they don't point the GMB page to a website at all, then often it looks legit enough for Google not to approve your request to remove it. Once they get a pile of reviews - usually fake - then it gets harder to remove the page.
 
Solution

matt_vt

Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2019
Messages
6
Reaction score
1
Thanks @Phil Rozek, it was wild to see this many appear at once. I have a hunch it's coming from a 'legit' business trying to move into the area. Another semi-spammy listing was created around the same time for a business in Melbourne (2000 kms away) with a similar configuration, but to an actual website (which was unrelated to the GMB title).

I'm wondering if they created a 'less spammy' listing with a close address to rank well and then create these to just push actual businesses down the list. Considering there was no contact information, no website, no phone number on most of these spammy listings, I don't see how it could be a lead gen activity.

Luckily they're gone now, but we'll see if they pop back up.
 

JoyHawkins

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
LocalU Faculty
Top Poster Of Month
Joined
Jul 18, 2012
Messages
4,090
Solutions
9
Reaction score
3,497
I would put them all on a spreadsheet and send it in on one redressal form next time it comes back. The listings are related and likely are all created by the same people so it is good to show that to Google by including it all together.
 

Phil Rozek

Local Search Expert
Joined
Jul 26, 2012
Messages
1,885
Solutions
12
Reaction score
1,457
Thanks @Phil Rozek, it was wild to see this many appear at once. I have a hunch it's coming from a 'legit' business trying to move into the area. Another semi-spammy listing was created around the same time for a business in Melbourne (2000 kms away) with a similar configuration, but to an actual website (which was unrelated to the GMB title).
That sounds about right. Usually there is a pony in there somewhere.
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
1,950
Reaction score
579
@matt_vt, Google does extremely little quality-control itself. Pretty much all of it is crowdsourced to business owners and others who keep an eye on the map. To your credit, you send in edits and try to keep the spam from getting out of control, but of course that shouldn't be your burden.

It's very easy for someone to crank out that many pages. Either they have an employee (or other contact) who can receive mail at an address in each of those towns, or at an address in the general area, and then after verification they just hide the address and let the keyword-spammy name do the heavy lifting. If they create a GMB Website with the right "branding," or if they don't point the GMB page to a website at all, then often it looks legit enough for Google not to approve your request to remove it. Once they get a pile of reviews - usually fake - then it gets harder to remove the page.

Is this how they're doing it, Phil? Or do you think they're getting a ton of Google accounts and just spamming adding listings? And with enough accounts, can make any edits they need to make?
 

Phil Rozek

Local Search Expert
Joined
Jul 26, 2012
Messages
1,885
Solutions
12
Reaction score
1,457
@JoshuaMackens, that's possible, but unlikely. Creating and using separate account would be much more work, and these characters tend not to like work. The whole concept of this "strategy" relies on speed and ease. It's spray-n'-pray. Also, multiple accounts wouldn't make those pages less likely to get pulled off the map.
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
1,950
Reaction score
579
I would think it would be more work to actually have to physically exist and go and collect postcards at each location? Maybe not though.
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
Amy Toman In Request A Quote dropdown, where does G source the fields? Google My Business & Google Maps 3
Travis Van Slooten Where Does MapQuest Get Its Data? Local Search 9
Jeffrey Does anyone know where this pulls from? Local Search 12
sjr4x4 Reviews from the web error - where does G pull the info? Google My Business & Google Maps 5
Dustybones Where does Express Update get their data from? Local Search 11
T Where does Apple Maps get its data from? Local Search 7
Jo Shaer Where does the profile pic on the G+ Business Pages come from? Google My Business & Google Maps 11
KymM Where is this city info populating from? Google My Business & Google Maps 2
K Help to access GMB page where no longer own email address Help & Support for Google Local 3
I Cheap Hyzaar, Where To Buy Hyzaar No Prescription Recycle Bin 0
JoyHawkins Where is This Knowledge Panel Sourced From? Ranking Puzzles 11
Monica Simpson Where did the FB verify option go? Citations 4
CandidmomVic Where to locate all my GMB that I manage? Multi-Location Issues 6
AndySimpson Where has all the spam gone? Google My Business & Google Maps 3
AndySimpson Data Studio Report for "What Where Why When and How"...with a little local SEO on the side Local SEO Tools & Software 6
rosie.brightlocal Local Services Ads Click Study: Where do people click on local SERPs? Paid Search and Local Service Ads 5
K Forum moderator question - not sure where to begin Marketing 4
C Where is Google Aggregating Reviews From? Google My Business & Google Maps 1
AndiFox Maps-Not rankings-Where to go next? Help & Support for Google Local 4
Adam Potaznik Strategy: Where is the money to be made in 2018? Local Search 1
Tim Colling Regarding LocalU in Santa Monica next week: Where are some good alternate hotels? Local Search 0
A G+ - Gone for Good? Where has Google Plus gone, is it dead? Google My Business & Google Maps 2
J Where the businesses dont show in the results Google Local 101 1
Eric Rohrback This... This is where i'd like to see more of our industry go Consultant's Corner 1
T Where has Google Plus gone? Google My Business & Google Maps 3
Travis Van Slooten Where Are My Managed Google My Business Pages Now??? Google My Business & Google Maps 4
econbethelmy where can I find a local seo services? Recycle Bin 0
S Showing in Maps Where You AREN'T Physically Located Local Search 3
V 3 options of URL of my Google Business - What use where? Google My Business & Google Maps 2
CaseyMeraz Click Test Study on The Local Finder // How Users Decide Where to Click Local Search 4
Linda Buquet The State of Local SEO & Where to Focus - Casey Meraz @Moz Local Search 3
S How do YOU target a primary location where your client is not based? Local Search 0
V If you could put an office for a sab anywhere in the city where would you put it? Local Search 0
pbarnhart Google Wants To Know Where "Home" and "Work" are Local Search 5
danieljc Where descriptions display to public Google My Business & Google Maps 3
RuggedSEO New Google+ Redesign - Where have the "Pages" gone to? Google My Business & Google Maps 7
Linda Buquet Important Local Mobile Stats: What users Want, Why they Leave & Where they Go Mobile & Social 2
C Are the second tier local directories significant? Where's the traffic data? Local Search 49
Christa Morgante Publishers Where Yext is Default Claim Local SEO Tools & Software 5
CaseyMeraz New 3 Pack Click Test Study! See where potential visitors are clicking Google My Business & Google Maps 16
Linda Buquet Google Moves Google Maps Embed Code Again - Here is where to find it! Google My Business & Google Maps 4
Linda Buquet Friday Fun Cartoon - Where is Matt Cutts? Break Room: Chat and Off Topic 1
E Where's my pin? Where's my listing? Service Area Businesses 5
E Where's my pin? Where's my listing? Service Area Businesses 5
Linda Buquet Where are YOU on the Local Marketing Adoption Curve Local Search 0
Dustybones Company impersonating Google: Where to report Help & Support for Google Local 3
L Small town where USPS will not deliver mail Service Area Businesses 3
Lloyd Silver Small town where USPS will not deliver mail Service Area Businesses 3
H Where am I? Etobicoke or Toronto? NAP, Categories, Dashboard Data 6
HurricaneK8 Where am I? Etobicoke or Toronto? NAP, Categories, Dashboard Data 6

Similar threads

Login / Register

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

Most UpVoted Answers

Trending: Most Viewed

LocalU Podcasts

  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...
Google Product Exert


Top Bottom