Google Maps connects people to businesses more than nine billion times per month and has added more than 200 million businesses so far. However, Google is now increasingly battling against scammers that take advantage of local listings to make a profit.
Business scammers frequently charge business owners by posing as a real business, charge them for services which are actually free, and even gather leads and sell them. Although only a small percentage of the businesses qualify as fake business profile, they still are a threat to the internet.
According to a survey conducted on 560 marketers by BrightLocal, as many as 46% of the marketers agreed that they see spam often or very often. The most common types of Google My Business spam, when arranged from descending to ascending order, include – fake reviews, keyword stuffed business name, multiple listings for the same business, fake businesses, and even ineligible listings.
That’s not only it, but Local Citations Trust Report revealed that 22% of consumers had visited the wrong location of business due to incorrect address details online. This is disappointing, to say the least. Thankfully, Google is aware of the problem areas and is consistently improving its services, and adopting proper measures to tackle this situation.
Google revealed that it has taken down more than 3 million fake profiles so far. Further, 85% of these removals are done with the help of internal systems. Also, around 250,000 business profiles were removed when users reported them.
Google is now already implementing new ways to detect suspicious business profiles. The tech giant has also made it easier for the users to flag issues as they see them.