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  1. #1
    Member Since
    Sep 2014
    San Marcos, CA
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  2. #2
    Member Since
    Jun 2012
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    Re: Go Home, Google Mapmaker. You’re Drunk.

    Thanks for sharing that one Tim! Mary makes some good points. It really should not be that hard!

    On a related note for anyone struggling with getting edits approved, I asked Joy Hawkins to write up a detailed post and much of it is based on tips from Dan Austin, the ultimate Google Spam fighter.

    Tips for Reporting Spam in MapMaker
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

  3. #3
    Member Since
    Jun 2014
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    Re: Go Home, Google Mapmaker. You’re Drunk.

    I just wanted to point out, this doesn't look like Map Maker (MM), it looks like Maps RAP (Report a problem).

    From the edit history of the POI, it appears that another Maps user, using Maps RAP edited the POI on Jan. 17, although the original address is substantially different than the original POI:

    Mary's edit was made on Jan. 19th. The previous maps user's edit was approved on Jan. 21 by an GLE (LE, or Listing Editor).

    I did find three POIs that are related to the first, with varying problems:

    Casey Law Offices, S.C. at 757 (Dupe):

    Milwaukee Divorce Lawyer - Casey Law Offices at 241 (Keyword stuffing, closed or fake POI):

    Family Law at 241 (Keyword stuffing, closed or fake POI):

    Without knowing more details, it's not clear that the POI that Mary edited and the POI that I found on MM are the same.

    In addition, Maps RAP shown pending edits on the history, but it's not connected to the user profile on MM--Maps RAP is essentially handled independently of MM editing, so any edits that you make using Maps RAP will not show in your MM profile (they are, for all intents and purposes, invisible). A generic placeholder account, A Google Maps User, is used for all user-generated Maps RAP edits. It isn't clear that denied edits made from Maps RAP ever show in the history of the POI, or if Mary edited a dupe that was "stricken" from the record. My reading of the record indicates that Mary's edit was stricken completely from the POI, so my theory is that completely denied Maps RAP are removed from the MM history, which is why it won't show except for the email notification. I should also note that the MM record is very opaque--edits made from other processes like GMB Dashboard don't show up clearly on the edit history, and are shown as generic processes made by Google (e.g. 3 Edits made by Google). This occurred after the merging of all the local records into one record some time ago. MM is essentially one "window" on the Local record that only shows data that is pertinent to MM.

    The edit made by the other Maps user is problematic, not the least of which is an LE modified the street address substantially (from 241 to 757), which is, ah, unusual. POIs are supposed to be closed if they change addresses, but again, there may be either an internal policy that I'm not aware of, a technical issue with the POI, or a change in the general policy for moved POIs that caused the LE to violate my general understanding of the rules. (I attribute it to the creative "flair" that the LE exercised at their discretion.)

    So in effect, the other edit that Mary wanted to make was approved, and there was a reason why her edit was denied, namely someone else beat her to the punch, which wasn't outlined in the email notification.

    However, Mary was lucky, in that she received a report that indicated something happened. I've reported many, many incredibly spammy POIs via Maps RAP, and the reports were ignored. This is my own experience--my account may be flagged as "troublesome" (I've been banned from making edits on MM on more than a few occasions by equally troublesome LEs) and the reports round filed, or the reports may be isolated and ignored. I'm leaning toward isolated and ignored, except for POIs that receive significant traffic like this lawyer (who has several reviews and probably a lot of drive-bys). Google is counting on their spam algos to remove recent spammy POIs every few weeks, and their in-house policy is to essentially ignore local spam unless it gets significant attention in the press or significant traffic on Maps. Google has given up on Local spam, for the most part. Google mostly focuses on the following 6 points of data for any local POI: name, address, phone, url, business category, and pinpoint on the map. Spam just doesn't fit into there, and is, ah, problematic in their mind, given the huge turnover in LEs, and the difficulty they perceive in training their operators to identify and deal with spam without incurring significant costs. It doesn't "scale", as Google puts it, and spam is a qualitative judgement that Google would prefer to not think about.

    The LEs, many of whom operate out of India (but also, many reviewers operate out of the US), are responsible for reviewing edits to made to claimed POIs from both MM and Maps RAP. They're primarily limited to street view (SV), satellite imagery, Googling, the website of the business, and calling the business, although they may have additional tools at their disposal for that particular region. MM GRs (Google Reviewers) only review edits made from MM, and any I Object reviews that LEs have improperly denied. The GRs are obviously better experienced, and they're often better trained, in my opinion, because they deal with a wide range of edits. The LEs, in my experience, are grossly incompetent, and it wasn't until recently, after years of constant f*ckups and endless complaints from mappers, that they finally "improved". I think part of the reason is that the LEs have not only a higher turnover, but they have a higher review count and poorer training than their GR counterparts, even though they all use the same tools (Atlas terminals, aka Ground Truth). That is speculation on my part. However, there have been years of constantly complaints about the LEs, and in their previous incarnation, before I even started with MM, they were screwing things up then, as well.

    Maps RAP has long been problematic. The problems you see here have long been in existence even before I started using MM several years ago, and that's why, in general, I prefer to use MM rather than Maps RAP to address issues, not only because of the complexity of the MM tools allows you to fine-tune and finesse your report/edit, but also because the feedback mechanisms are much more refined and precise. Maps RAP is the general reporting mechanism for all problems on Maps, and as such, is the primary means of communication between most of the people who use Maps and Google, and has been largely simplified for the masses that want to communicate a few critical problems in the easiest manner possible.

    However, I should note that much of the spam is now in the form of SABs (service area businesses) with hidden addresses, which have been segregated from MM for reasons that defy me, despite their protestation that this was done for "privacy" (which Google obviously doesn't believe in). For that kind of spam (which is plentiful), you have to use Maps RAP, and the probability is very low that the Maps RAP team(s) will remove the spam, if they even look at the report. You also can't monitor the progress of the edit from MM, since it doesn't exist within MM. (In the past, you could.)

    I would use MM Edit/Report this to cleanup the remainder of the lawyer POIs (dupes, keyword spammy POIs, closures, etc.) and ideally, you'll get a GR to look on these things and fix them for you.

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