As a digital marketing company we get lot of common queries from my network ranging from my emails going in spam to someone made a bad comment on our client’s social media page.
Few days back one of our client who owns a restaurant called us saying that his Google local listing is hijacked by some other business. It was a clear damage in business enquiries to our client. We proactively understood & found some amazing SEO hack insights done by Spammers. In interest of all & specially Google buddies here is a detailed case report on “The Black Hole in Google Local Listing”.
The restaurant owner told us when someone searches his business on Google gets some other company name & phone number under a listing which was known since long as his restaurant. His restaurant name is “The Biker’s Café Gurgaon” & on Google search we found following:
SPAM SPAM SPAM
The company named “Fast International Packers & Movers Pvt Ltd” has updated the name, phone & website of this listing. Although Google was showing that you can own this business.
Now in interest of my readers Google Local Listing is a program started to search & connect with businesses locally. Google refers to its local business listing platform as Google My Business. The resulting Google My Business listings include a business’ name, address, phone number and website.
This business listing information is available through a variety of Google properties — including Google Maps. In fact, Google My Business offers everything you need for a potential customer to find and use your services, buy your products or visit your business. Once you’ve registered or claimed your local business listing via the Google My Business dashboard, you can respond to customer reviews and add images to help your business stand out.
Now in most of the cases this listing is not claimed by most of business owners & hence a hole is created.
Google’s local listings are intrinsically tied to local SEO. If you haven’t yet considered this as part of your SEO strategy, then you are likely to be in trap of this black hole.
Also Read : Dear SEOs: Please stop spamming Google Maps!
An effort made by our team to understand practice followed by “Fast International Packers & Movers Pvt Ltd” & intent behind such action gave us a something which is clear hole & we call it as “The Black Hole”. So we made a Google Search & found following:
Ah! A flood of multiple entries resulting into making a huge presence of this company. We clicked on one of the listing & found another restaurant is also being edited in same way. We again cross checked with name of this restaurant i.e Fauji Dhaba & made a search on Google. This was a clear case of SEO SPAM made into Google Listings of other businesses to increase leads for Fast International Packers & Movers Pvt Ltd.
To protect the interest of our client’s business we tried to fix this & get back the listing to correct name & phone number. This was not easy as no one has neither claimed the listing nor Google has a process to validate the wrong information in real time. A total collapse & we found following help on Google.
Google’s DNA is not structured as an enterprise company & hence all information is sourced by public and served to public via such programs. No doubt about immense contribution the company has made to the world. We believe that importance of data is now being understood well by audience & hence building an enterprise model around validation of such information & real time updates is required.
As we write this, we have applied to claim the listing which will take some 10-12 days via a post card based authentication & until then all business is going to spammer. These are cyber thief & if Google will not fix this then this is easiest way to hijack the local listings & enjoy free leads from popular businesses.
Claim Your Business Listing on Google Today !
Importance of Local SEO can be understood well in this case. Consult your SEO Manager or feel free to ask for any digital consulting requirements Skype me at huja_yogesh