Google Maps – Report Spam Businesses and Fake Listings to Improve your Rankings

Don’t let your competitors outrank you in Google maps if you know they are using dirty tactics. Help Google combat these spammers and improve your rankings in maps.  

Video Transcript

A lot of local businesses use dirty tactics to rank in Google maps illegitimately.

At best, they use keywords in their business titles which shouldn’t be there as it violates Google’s guideline at worse they create fake listings so their business ranks in multiple locations even if they don’t operate there.

The results: your business maybe outranked by these unscrupulous people, robbing you of valuable visitors you could turn into customers.

Google has been notoriously bad at tackling these fraudsters but has finally woken up and introduced a new way to fight against them once and for all.

In this video I ‘m going to show you how to identify those spammers and how to report it directly into Google my business, so your business ranks in Google maps instead of those scammers.

A few weeks ago I published a video showing you a quick hack on how to modify some of your competitor’s spammy business listings by suggesting an edit directly in Google.

While this hack works well, it doesn’t stop business owners from overriding your suggestion turning this into a cat and mouse game, which can be very frustrating.

Since then, Google has launched a brand new tool so you can report spammers directly to them. This means that, in theory, you will no longer need to edit business listings.

And the best part is, the process is not automated since Google has put a team of people to handle the reports and the recurring spammers will be banned. Hallelujah!

Before I show you how to properly use this report it’s important you understand what is considered spam, in Google my business.

There are multiple instances of spam you can come across in Google maps but here are the two most popular ones

Number 1
Adding extra keywords in business title

This is by far the most common offence.

If you watched my video “how to rank in Google maps fast” you’ll know that adding location and service keywords in your google listing is a sure way to improve your rankings

Here is the perfect example. When i search for a plumber in Kingston, London, the map pack  only seems to show one legitimate results. The other two are spamming their listing with additional keywords such as plumbers Kingston and inexpensive local plumbers. How do I know? I generally check their website and if their business name doesn’t match with their listing they are clearly spamming and should be reported. If you want to be sure what their business name is you can even call them directly and see how they answer the phone. 

Second popular spamming technique
Create additional listings in location where they have no presence 

This one is also a classic. It’s very tempting and extremely easy to create additional business listings to cover a wider area and catch a bigger number of clients in locations where you do not have an actual presence.

Here is an example of an electrician’s listings that looks very suspicious to me.

I can find two locations in two different part of London, yet there’s only one address on their website, the photos they have posted on their GMB profiles do not indicate they have a genuine office at the address shown in their Google my business profile, which leads me to believe they are using a home address, they are using the same phone number for both listings etc…

They’re displaying some very strong signs of spammers to me.

So what should you do if some of these businesses operate in your area and are ranking instead of you?

Report them to Google using the Business Redressal Complaint Form at https://support.google.com/business/contact/business_redressal_form

The first part of the form is about your personal information.

Add your name and email address to start with then the name of your business in the “Name entity that is being impacted” field. If you do not want to add the name of your business simply use “NA”

The second part of the form is about reporting the business you believe is spamming Google maps.

Select which area of the listing you believe is being used improperly using the drop down menu.

You can report on 4 different types of misuse.

  • Business title, this would typically apply to businesses who stuff keyword in their title such as location and service which I’ve already explained
  • Address: this would concern businesses who use fake addresses or home addresses to cover multiple areas for example, or a mail service address.
  • Phone number: This could be for businesses who use call redirect numbers or phone numbers that connect to call centres
  • Website:  this is for listings that display a website address that has nothing to do with the business in question. The listing is used to drive traffic to a website a generate business illegitimately

Once you’ve selected the category just add the URL for the actual location you want to report by copying the link from Google map’s result into this field.

To report more than one location just click on the add button below the field.

You can also upload a file if you have a hundreds of locations to report.

Finally, explain in details why you feel the listing is spammy. Be as specific as you can be to help the Google team handle the case. Then click on submit.

What happens after you’ve submitted your form?

You will receive a standard response from Google like this. Even if Google updates the business they will not notify you since you don’t manage it.

Therefore I would suggest you keep track of all the reports  you submit in an excel spreadsheet including the name of the business, the date you submitted your form and what you wanted corrected and check back few weeks later to verify if action has been taken.

That’s it for today. Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel. For more free guides visit rankingacademy.co.uk and join my newsletter list so you are 100% guaranteed to be notified when I publish a new video. Until next time, Happy marketing

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