Why should you help clean up Google Maps and remove spam or non existent businesses?
If you aren’t fighting spam on Google My Business (GMB) yet, your competition may be taking your share of the market easily, and that is not something that legitimate business owners need. The question is, how can you outdo your closest competition locally, on GMB? You can optimize your entries and provide all the details necessary for a complete profile, but what spam on Google Maps is messing up the search results?
Think about it. Google Business Listings offer so many benefits that it should be on every business’ marketing efforts:
- Google My Business is free.
- An agency can take care of the heavy lifting for you to establish your GMB presence.
- GMB makes your business visible instantly, and it helps people find your business more easily, whatever channel you may be using.
- GMB offers you a way to present or feature the best of what your business offers in the most consistent way possible.
- Higher ranking on Google gets you more customers, period.
What is Google My Business Spam?
Google My Business is suffering from all sorts of spam. Business names are stuffed with keywords, and many businesses are added without legitimate businesses’ basic requirements. Many listings are not eligible to be real businesses, and therefore, they don’t belong to GMB or on Google Maps. Some businesses also resort to multiple spam listings to game the system and overwhelm other businesses. Think five, ten, or even more listings pointing to the same website. There are also GMB listings that contain physical addresses that don’t exist or are simply wrong.
How To Improve Your Ranking on Google My Business?
An expert SEO agency can help fight spam on your behalf on GMB, so your organic presence can get a bump of one to two places easily. Amazingly, not everyone is investing in fighting spam. Spam stands directly against the goals of many businesses to become more visible on the network. This is one SEO hack that you must do ASAP. No use just waiting around because those spam listings may look real, but many of them are just junk floating on the surface of GMB.
Fighting spam on GMB promises a ranking boost for legitimate businesses who aren’t trying to game the system or mess up local businesses’ search rankings. Unfortunately, some spammers know how to simulate legitimate businesses, and the good guys are the ones that are often struggling to get surfaced in search results.
SEO agencies that have tried this technique will attest to how effective and simple it can be to get a ranking boost by keeping the GMB system cleaner. Of course, spammers will always try to make ways to game the system. Still, as long as business owners and SEO agencies are actively reporting spam on GMB, legitimate businesses will succeed.
If you haven’t thought of it at length, now would be a good time to figure out how much of your inbound marketing budget you can allocate to fighting spam. Fighting spam will ensure that your business will be in its rightful spot on GMB.
Keep those spammy listings away so your business will always be available for customers to visit. For SEO agencies, spam-fighting became an important service in 2020 because the competition is fierce, and the demands of improving ranking and visibility on GMB have also become more challenging.
How Spam Fighting Works on Google My Business
These are the general steps that an agency will take to begin fighting spam on behalf of your business:
Google Maps Research Work
Fighting spam requires plenty of research and tracing. The idea here is that your SEO agency will have to gather evidence first that a listing is spammy before reporting or escalating the problem to Google. Collecting enough information is key to taking down spammy listings on GMB.
Scrutinizing the GMB Business Name
The business name is the crowning glory of a GMB listing. Why ever not? It’s the first thing that people see when they search for a business online. The business name on Google has to match the name visible on the Street View of the business. If not, that’s already a huge red flag. Even the small coffee shops have signs that clearly show the name of the business.
Next, the agency can look at the GMB business name listing and the name on the business license. Businesses are named differently, and there are also fictitious business names used for branding, and these are allowed by US law. Confirming the registered business names is essential to weed out the fakes from the real ones.
If the name checks out, the SEO agency can continue pressing further. If there is an office phone on the GMB listing, the SEO agency can call that number to determine who answers and how.
A human should answer, or at least, the automated answer should reflect the legitimate business. Fake businesses use generic openings to hide the fact that they’re accepting calls for fake business listings. It’s not unusual to hear someone say “hello, service” when you call for the first time.
They can’t mention the business name because so many fake listings are linked to the fake phone number. When someone answers on the other end, the SEO agency can ask and verify the business name. Whoever answers has to say the name of the legitimate business on GMB. If it’s not fake, then it’s fine – the business is also like yours, and you’re playing by the rules.
Locking Down on Street View
Google Street View is super helpful for tracking down scammers and spammers, especially in the US. While Street View is already available in other countries, it’s most useful in the US because the US has already been deeply scanned by Google. First, your SEO agency will be trying to find out if the name on the listing and the listing on Street View and Google Maps match. Then they might turn to a physical address search – a physical address search should turn up an exact match. If a mailing service or UPS store is returned after the query, we got ourselves a fake listing.
Contact me to learn more about how removing spam from google maps helps your business get more customers.