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SEO Spam

Steps to Curb Search Engine Optimization Spam Techniques

SEO spam techniques are still being used at large in spite of Google updating its algorithms. Whatever fixes have been in vogue, they are not for permanent use and are also not up to the mark. There is a large number of search engine optimization specialists who employ various spam techniques which violate Google My Business terms and yet continue to do well in the SERPs. There are several business owners who are using spam techniques to rank better by using their keywords. There is another significant issue making rounds which is the fact that MapMaker has been shut down by Google. The edits will continue to be displayed but only through Google Maps.

The Possum update had a positive impact on the overall system. However, the root problem like existence of multiple business listings still existed. Some businesses have actually been hit very bad and they have sued Google for faking spam listings. The results on Google are being manipulated whether people are spamming or not.

Google’s My Business Guidelines states that:

“Your name should reflect your business’ real-world name, as used consistently on your storefront, website, stationery, and as known to customers. Accurately representing your business name helps customers find your business online.”

What does it Translate Into?

Various businesses are using their keywords within the business name to get ranked well on the SERPs. According to them, you simply need to rename your business by including the keywords in it. This practice is becoming more common because people can see that it is functioning. If you take a close look, you will find that more and more keyword-stuffed-location-based business names are appearing on the SERP every day. This is also compelling them to use phrases that do not have any direct connection to the business.

Curbing Manipulation of Local Results

There are various ways to manipulate Google my Business result and through the following points we will focus on some of them and how to curb them as well.

  • Keyword-Stuffed Business Names- Google’s algorithm places huge amount of weight they put into a business name. This is a prominent problem. This makes sense to a certain extent because any business would like to appear in front of the listings page. The issue embedded here is that people quickly found out that Google gives priority to businesses with keywords or locations in their business names. People can report fake listings but it must be corroborated by an authority. If the authority supports it, the edit will go live. Fighting against people manipulating SERP results is your job now as an SEO professional. The edits will be done on Google Maps directly. Follow a series of simple steps to report it. Sign into your Google account>locate the business on Google maps>open it and find “Suggest an edit” option>select and choose the field you will edit>change it and submit. If your profile has a good trust level, the change will take place in due time.
  • Fraud Business Listings- This is also a common issue. These are totally false created by black-hat SEO executives to build rank for false business and generate more leads. There are various niches in which this happens a lot more than others. Google had started doing advanced verification for some niches. Such business listings have numbers that are answered in a general tone and sometimes even disconnect the number.
  • Spam Review- Spam can be reviewed in different ways. Google has of course updated their review method of late and laying stress on them quite a lot. Review spams sometimes appear as competitor shaming. This is the worst form but appears quite often. However, Google encourages only honest opinions. To this effect, it provides steps in the form of guidelines to remove spammy reviews. If the edit takes a lot of time to go live or it gets lapsed, you can get more public about the issue. Keep documents to keep track of these steps. You can also make a public post about the business in case it featured in verified listing, if it appears in unverified listing, then engage with the Local Guides Connect Forum.

Unfortunately, the future is bleak unless we make a lot of noise and be proactive about reporting it. Reporting about listings and reviews that flout guidelines should be the norm. In case, the listings are not being removed, take them up to Google My Business Community Forum. Avoid spamming local results and stay updated on Google My Business guidelines. Finally, whatever you had reported against will come back and thus be prepared for it. Do hold on to the hope of levying serious penalties.


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