Google Deals with Fake listings on Google Maps

Google wants to keep the fake listings off Google Maps. In order to do so, it has released new data, which details its recent efforts. According to the data, it can be noted that the search giant has reduced the number of fake listings by 70% from an all-time peak in June 2015.

For the local listing scams, those perpetrating the scams have to be located relatively close to their victims. Google says, "This fundamentally changes both the scale and types of abuse possible."

Most Common Types of Fake Listings

Google conducted a study by teaming up with the University of California, San Diego to commission a study on those abusing Google Maps. The main objective of the study was to recognize such fake users and improve the company’s efforts in keeping the users safe. Here is the data collected by the study:

  • Roughly 2 out of 5 fake listings consist of bad actors posing as locksmiths, plumbers, electricians, and other contractors. Even though Google is successful in discovering and disabling these fake listings, the perpetrators would create more.
  • Roughly 1 out of 10 fake listings belonged to legitimate businesses, which scammers managed to claim ownership of. Most of these listings belonged to the businesses such as hotels and restaurants.


How Google is Keeping Fake Listings Off Google Maps

Based on what Google has learned, it has since implemented an advanced verification process for locksmiths and plumbers. The other ways through which

  • Google is keeping the fake listings off are:
  • Prohibiting bulk registrations at most addresses
  • Preventing businesses from relocating a great distance from their original address without additional verification
  • Detecting and ignoring intentionally mangled text in address fields designed to confuse Google’s algorithms
  • Adapting anti-spam machine learning systems to detect data discrepancies common to fake or deceptive listings
  • Google says less than 0.5% of local searches lead to fake listings now. It has now managed to disable 85% of fake listings before they appear to the public. You can get local SEO services from a well reputed digital agency and take care of any kind of fake listing that can affect your business.


* The reference for all the data mentioned above is- security.googleblog.com

 

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