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Got spam? Google My Business doesn’t care.
Seeing lots of spammy local listings on Google? It's not just you! Columnist Joy Hawkins notes some of the problems with Google's reinforcement of its Google My Business guidelines.
Google recently posted a blog article raving about how it tackled webspam in 2015. The numbers were quite impressive. The webspam team handed out more than 4.3 million manual penalties last year, which must have been pretty labor-intensive.
If only they applied the same efforts when it comes to Google My Business (GMB).
Currently, the spam situation with GMB is bad. Spam is everywhere — and other than cracking down on the locksmith industry, Google doesn’t seem to be doing much at all about it.
Here are the top four ways spam is flooding Google Maps.
1. Improper business names
The Google My Business guidelines state the following with regard to business names:
Adding unnecessary information to your name (e.g., “Google Inc. — Mountain View Corporate Headquarters” instead of “Google”) by including marketing taglines, store codes, special characters, hours or closed/open status, phone numbers, website URLs, service/product information, location/address or directions, or containment information (e.g. “Chase ATM in Duane Reade”) is not permitted.
The problem is that there doesn’t appear to be anything that Google is doing to actually enforce this rule. It matters because having keywords in the business name actually helps improve ranking. Therefore, people who are breaking Google’s guidelines are reaping a benefit.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.