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  1. #1
    Member Since
    Nov 2015
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    Are Google Map Images Redirecting your Customers to Other Sites?

    That's quite a shocking headline to read for a business and whilst it was true, until I reported the loophole, it remains to be seen how Google deals with the problem.

    Around two months ago Google started displaying images from other websites in a local business page Map images alongside street view images and other publicly uploaded images.

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    In the case of the business above, Google was displaying tons of images labeled Fontaine for a business called Fontaine Industries which is a bathroom supplier based in VIC, Australia.

    The first problem here, is that Google is probably using the same parameters to associate images as they do in Google Images, which may work for Google Images, but when dealing with an actual physical business, you need to tighten up the parameters.

    My Suggest Would Be:

    • Entire Business Name
    • Whole or Partial Address match
    • Some match to the business category
    • Telephone match

    The result was that the images being displayed came from tens of websites ( mainly French ) that had ever labeled an image with Fontain

    Redirecting Traffic

    Again whilst dealing with the above, I wanted to get an idea of where the image was located and perhaps how they were making the determination. Clicking on Visit Site in the above image i was redirected to a hacked page on the site that was JP porn .... great for potential customers experience, not!

    So therein lies my article title.

    When last did you check your images that are displayed in maps for your business ?

    Have you ever checked on the traffic / views that some of your uploaded images receive?

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    Not all people viewing an image will click through to your website, even so, as a business you should be protecting your Brand image.

    Using Images to Steal Traffic?

    So how could i use this to "steal" traffic, well obviously you need to find a business within your genre. Then create a pretty awesome page, loads of images of the target business, and once Google starts displaying the image a percentage will be visiting your sites page.

    In the image above of Leeds Station with 387K of views, a though would be train ticket sites for example. Create a Leeds Station page, all the details about the station, train time tables, the whole kit and kaboodle and enjoy the extra traffic from images.

    Now this scenario would fall kind of fall within the user experience, they are looking at Leeds Station and they get a website that is specifically about Leeds station and you can buy tickets.

    But what if ...... ?

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    I was an OTA ( Online Travel Agent ), not only do i charge you a commission for the booking, but some of that traffic came from your business page in the first instance.

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    What if i was selling your product, maybe even knock offs and your business page sent me some customers, that ended up buying from me?

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    I guess you can see the potential problems now from displaying web images in a businesses Map images.

    Moral of the Story

    You need to be checking your clients business page images a bit more frequently then you have been doing up until now.

    Report all images that you find inappropriate.

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    And you can also report via business support
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  2. #2
    Member Since
    Jun 2012
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    Re: Are Google Map Images Redirecting your Customers to Other Sites?

    Whoa Tim! Great catch and good eye opener!

    You need to check listings often for image issues and also hours.

    We've been getting complaints about G auto changing restaurant hours to closed on weekends and that happened at my largest local mall 2 weeks before Christmas. People called me saying is there a bomb scare at the mall? Why else would they be closed Sat and Sun right before Xmas??? I checked their site and the news, no issues. Then I thought to Google the mall and sure enough. Because Google said they were closed, everyone thought it was true.

    But I digress, back to the topic of Tim's article... images...

    Hey Tim, we know at least one locksmith that would be all over this, and maybe already is right???

    FYI all, here is one more reason to carefully check ALL images showing for your client!

    A Horror Story: Check Your Google Local Listings - Don't Let This Happen to You

    Really hope it helps save people some headaches! And I think the more reasons we give people to be double cking listings, the better!

    Thanks again for the head's up and great post Tim!

    What do you guys think???

    Were you aware of this loophole?

    Ever had image problems like the ones above?
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  3. #3
    Member Since
    Nov 2012
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    Re: Are Google Map Images Redirecting your Customers to Other Sites?

    Great share Tim. To be honest, I don't think I've ever checked other images, but guess what I'll be doing now?
    Scott Rawlins - Find Local Company in Atlanta GA
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  4. #4
    Member Since
    Nov 2015
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    Re: Are Google Map Images Redirecting your Customers to Other Sites?

    Yep Scott

    The Fontaine one was the worst I have come across. Every french site that had a picture of a fountain in it was linked, then of course the main image / link had been hijacked and redirected to a Porn site.

    I came across a another US one yesterday, Red Brick Cottage or something like that, any way the image and link was to a UK geo location site that had tagged a "red brick cottage"

    So at the minute they are doing a pretty bad job of this.

    It started showing in the UK last week, so I'll report back on any crazy ones I come across
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