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Identifying and Eradicating Maps Spam

Spam listings are dangerous and can affect your business listings. This article will cover the process to identify and remove spam Google Business Profile (GBP) listings that violate Google’s Terms of Service. It is important to note that legitimate GBP listings may sometimes violate Google’s ToS and this may not necessarily be due to the use of black hat techniques.

The problem may simply stem from the lack of appropriate situational awareness. With that bit cleared up, this blog post will address how to identify potential spam issues on the map while measuring your business progress against others.

We begin with the Rankclimber GeoGrid Tool and enter the top-performing GBPs for select keywords or company names. The result of the input should look like this below:

The clusters of high ranking in the image are interrupted by a node that shows irregularity in GBP ranking. The irregularity is seen in the sharp drop from 1’s and 2’s to 13. While the huge drop may be a false alarm, it is worth investigating to understand the problem. Clicking on each specific node will give expansive information about the top 20 ranking GBPs for that specific area.

Clicking the affected mode presents a few irregularities that are easily identified. Here, the number three listing, Nampa Injury Lawyer, points a few irregularities, some of which include:

  • The name looks more like an exact match keyword instead of a brand name
  • The GBP listing isn’t completely filled out and not well optimized
  • The GBP listing has no reviews. This isn’t always indicative of a spam listing, however, it contributes to existing suspicions.
  • There are several businesses located in the same building. It is good to double-check this to be sure.
  • The address matches that of the #2 map listing, Joe Frick Law, PLLC.

These red flags are enough to arouse suspicions. Further investigation into the listing to confirm its spam status will reveal more. You can proceed to click the street view but if that doesn’t work, the map itself will prove helpful.

A further search of the listing on Maps shows that the Nampa Injury Lawyer isn’t a real business, in fact, Joe Frick Law, PLLC does not operate from this location. A call placed to the GBP profile number on the Nampa Injury Law listing shows that it is a tracking number that forwards to Joe Frick who isn’t located in the claimed business location either. Having determined that the listing is truly a spam listing meant for lead gen, we can confidently begin the reporting process.

Reporting Spam GBP Listings

There’s a flag at the bottom of every listing inside the Rankclimber modal. This flag can be used to report spam listings. In the top bar of the modal, you can scan through the existing accounts created on Rankclimber to select the appropriate one to use for reporting.

Important: Rankclimber is working hard to deliver value to clients. The information presented here should not be used for nefarious activities.

Follow the video guide below for more information:

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