Google My Business is an essential platform for all businesses. However, some companies try to outdo their competition by misusing GMB, which negatively affects everyone. Spam and fake listings abound. However, there are ways to fight spam, to preserve the integrity of the platform.
GMB spam also makes it more difficult for legitimate businesses to rank well on the platform. This is likely the most crucial reason you should care about spam – because the more spam there is on the platform, the more challenging it will be for your customers to find you.
Getting GMB spam off the platform takes time. While unverified accounts and listings are suspended in a matter of days, some listings require a month or more before they are removed. As long as the reports are filed, and the platform’s support team is made aware of the precise listings that need to be verified further, the waiting time is fine.
If you are serious about promoting your digital business and getting more leads and sales, consider Google My Business spam management today for long-term gains and a fairer playing field.
What Does GMB Spam Look Like?
Unethical businesses have found more ways to misuse GMB simply because they want more customers. However, there is a right way of doing things, and spamming a platform as necessary as GMB affects the integrity of the business ecosystem. It is not just about them – it’s about everyone else who depends on GMB to get better visibility, too. Below are some examples of GMB spam.
- Same Business, But Multiple Listings
You may wonder why anyone bothers these days to create spam on GMB. Spam listings tend to be mostly empty, with no proper street addresses and other important information.
Spam hunters have discovered in recent years that many of these seemingly identical listings in multiple towns tend to point to just one business. These spam listings may have different telephone numbers listed, but a single company or business will answer.
These businesses do not care if customers will become confused about calling a company from another city or town. If you call these numbers and ask specifically about the multiple listings situation, they will likely hang up on you and block you, too.
- Business Names are Stuffed with Keywords
According to Google My Business rules, businesses need to use their legal business name when registering on the platform. Unfortunately, many companies do not follow this policy. They stuff their business name with keywords to land a better spot on search results.
For example, a tree removal company might list something like Jupiter Tree Removal LLC – Stump Removal, Pruning Services, and Landscaping. The first part of the business name is fine, but obviously, there is plenty of keyword stuffing after. Adding unnecessary keywords to the business name makes a listing spammy and less trustworthy, too.
While it might sound like a good idea to add a few keywords to your business name, it might get your GMB listing suspended. GMB permits only real-world business names, and you will gain no advantage from keyword stuffing either.
- Multiple Business Listings, But All Lead to the Same Site
This type of spam listing is similar to the first spam type we discussed, where other listings have telephone numbers that lead to the same business. This time, the website link becomes the dead giveaway.
These spam listings are found and reported less often because they tend to have unique phone numbers, business names, and addresses. Unless the business owner indicates that they have different branches in the same city or other cities, GMB listings with the same website link remain suspicious.
To confirm if a GMB listing is legitimate, click on the site link and check the site if it lists the business name, address, and phone number, too. Otherwise, we have to consider these listings as spam that needs to be reported.
- Fake Testimonials and Reviews
It is frustrating enough to find several spam listings for the same service that you are offering. Some of these fake listings have an unnaturally high number of five-star reviews that essentially place them ahead of legitimate businesses using the platform fairly.
It is more challenging to report fake reviews because sites essentially sell five-star reviews from verified Google accounts. Since Google only needs a mobile number to confirm a new Google account, it is easy to pass off a new account as a real account.