Mapspam Now Appearing On Yahoo Local

If spam isn’t an indication of the arrival of an advertising medium (e.g. email spam, search spam) I don’t know what is. Mike Blumenthal, who identified instances of Google mapspam has now investigated non-local businesses trying to fool the local algorithms on Yahoo into thinking they are local.

Blumenthal cites detailed examples of gaming with fake addresses, phone numbers and, in some cases, fake reviews to boost rankings, which give these businesses prominence not only in Yahoo Local but also in general Yahoo search results.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | SEO: Local | SEO: Spamming | Yahoo: Maps & Local

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About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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  • http://seorefugee.com/forums earlpearl

    Greg:

    From my observation, it appears that the link under general Yahoo search results (which is a link in Y! Local to New York city florists) now shows a different ranking than a few days ago. (If I’m wrong….correct me). The highest ranked florist off that listing appears to be a florist with a real address in NYC. This was not the case a few days ago….though I didn’t capture a screen search)

    It could be that Yahoo! local adjusted this ranking since Mike’s article was first posted.

    I had checked DC florist a few days ago and it appears that the same site with the same florist that used to appear for other cities is still appearing first for a Y! Local search for Washington DC florist.

    We are wondering how quickly Yahoo! Local might be in catching and correcting data that highlights businesses that spam the Local system.

    Both Google maps and Yahoo Local are susceptable to this manipulation/spam, whereby businesses without addresses seem capable of commanding prominant or the first position in Local rankings.

    The power comes when the SE’s insert a onebox map into organic searches. When that happens the system (G Maps or Y! Local) that is supposedly reserved for businesses with purely local results is infiltrated with websites and information that is not local. More egregiously it appears that many of these sites are providing false addresses to access their way into the local versions which violates the TOS that Google and Yahoo! local versions have established.

    If others confirm, that the ranking within Y! Local has changed it would at least show that Yahoo is responding to the webmaster world.

    We have found with similar situations with Google Maps that they are responding to violations of their TOS.

    I suspect we will see a lot of changes and evolution with different versions of Local and Maps over time.

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