• http://seorefugee.com/forums earlpearl

    Greg: Over the last 1/2 year during which Google Maps has been very visable…I think there has been a gap between the corporate statement….”Google takes Local Business Center abuse very seriously and acts quickly to remove fraudulent listings when we’re made aware of them. We are continuing to develop new tools and technologies to improve the quality of our local listings.”….and their actual response time.

    I do believe they simply need to put more customer service resources (people) into reviewing reports of spam or correcting errors.

    They have the money to do so. It would speed up the process. It seems as if the number of people responding within gmaps–google groups is insufficient to handle all the inquiries that come up.

    Mine is a simple response. They can figure out better technical responses and actions later.

    I emailed, spoke w/Mike, and wrote about this in the geo section of seorefugee. In fact Mike and I discussed a number of issues with regard to the validity of this type of marketing; how it may diminish the believability of googles information to the user public…and how it enables a national firm to claim localness–even when it is not as firm or well established with regard to localness as other competitors.

    For instance, I believe one competitor to Tech Pros is called Geeks on Call. (I hope that is the correct name.) They sell local franchises, establish local offices and have a local point of reference for continued follow up with customers. Ultimately there is a big difference in accountability with this type of structure than one that is being run out of a slim central office in one location. (I don’t mean to demean techpros…but it is simply structured differently than local identifiable brick and mortar businesses)

    Getting back to Google’s responsiveness…they just issued a set of guidelines w/in Google Groups on how to communicate a problem so that they can respond more quickly.

    A person needs to be more thorough and specific with the description of the problem or the description of the offensive action.

    That makes sense. In fact in early 2007, after not getting help with a couple of offenses and several requests into Google Groups for Maps I was extremely specific. Google cleaned out the erroneous information very quickly thereafter.

    In the meantime, though, until it is quickly made clear to every person inquiring about every problem that they need to be more specific….I’d strongly suggest they up the amount of customer service to respond to issues like this.

    Currently, though, and into the near future I’ll be looking at G maps virtually every day to see if bulk uploads or spammers are abusing G maps on a couple of local topics I cover.

    Dave

  • http://www.blumenthals.com/blog mblumenthal

    Greg-

    The TechPro link to Google that you reference above no longer demonstrates the the nature of these bulk uploads.

    Here is a link where there is still an active case that has not yet been taken down (4 days and counting):

    http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=we+buy+houses&near=Portland,+OR&fb=1&view=text&cd=1&output=html

    It is for the “We buy Houses” market.

    Mike Blumenthal

  • http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/ Matt Cutts

    I’ve been talking to local/maps folks about similar topics even before TechPro, so I know that that team has been paying attention to issues like this.

  • mblumenthal

    Here is a more graphic example of the practice (although nowhere ne the number of postings that TechPros or RentaGeeks has)

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=l&abauth=f56c0118%3AjLBbwMGCee5bruZGpLqZGwxVDKk&view=text&output=html&hl=en&q=we+buy+houses&near=OR&btnG=Search+Businesses

    Mike

  • http://seorefugee.com/forums earlpearl

    By the way guys and specifically Mike–we discussed this with regard to the We Buy Houses Bulk load.

    Yes there is a Main Street, Alexandria VA. No there is not a 500 Main Street. Bad data!

  • http://www.eshop600.co.uk/creditexpert.html eshop600

    Lets hope they sort this out, perhaps dropping them from google might sort it!

  • http://www.idoseo.com David

    I think the possible launch of the “Feet On The Street” Google independent representatives will have a great effect on nailing this problem as the independent reps would have a vested interest in keeping the locale they represent spam free.

    I work SEO locally only these days and would like to see some form of local spam cop reporting system in place if Google go ahead with this program

    By the way I have applied to be a 1099 local rep – yes I know it’s only a possible $10 per business but that’s OK I don’t need to make boatloads of $$ss

    David

  • http://www.idoseo.com David

    I think the possible launch of the “Feet On The Street” Google independent representatives will have a great effect on nailing this problem as the independent reps would have a vested interest in keeping the locale they represent spam free.

    I work SEO locally only these days and would like to see some form of local spam cop reporting system in place if Google go ahead with this program

    By the way I have applied to be a 1099 local rep – yes I know it’s only a possible $10 per business but that’s OK I don’t need to make boatloads of $$ss

    David