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    Arrow Are Google My Business Guidelines & Spam Algos Working? - Online Ownership

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    The post Are Google My Business Guidelines & Spam Algos Working? appeared first on Online Ownership.

    Are Google My Business Guidelines, spam algos and reporting systems working? I think not, but I’ll let you be the judge of that. The Businesses in Question There are any number of examples I could have picked but the Two business making Four listings in maps are in the same location which should in theory […]

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    Re: Are Google My Business Guidelines & Spam Algos Working? - Online Ownership

    I don't think the spam algos target SMB names. Too much blatant abuse going on that is unchecked.

    They do have a review filter but it's not that sophisticated from all indications.

    I think the spam algo basically is just a duplicate suppressor and that's about it. In fact, I'm not even sure I would label any local algo they have as a spam algo. I'm not sure a spam algo even exists truly.
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    Re: Are Google My Business Guidelines & Spam Algos Working? - Online Ownership

    It is a great topic for discussion. As someone that preaches best practices and following Google guidelines, i recently saw a great example of a situation that coincides with your post.

    I had an Electrician in Phoenix that is located in the Northern part of the city and his GMB could not hit the 3-pack for the main search term "electrician phoenix". He did well for searches in the northern area of the city.

    He was told by an SEO person in one of his network groups that if he added "Phoenix Electrician" to his business name it would help his rank. I told him Google wants your business name only. Long story short... he added Phoenix Electrician to his business name section of his GMB and within a week he now is in the 3-pack for the very lucrative search term "electrician Phoenix"

    He has been ranking there now for over 3 months and his phones are ringing more.

    He threw this in my face questioning my 20 years of local SEO knowledge. It is frustrating as a veteran SEO to see Google basically not enforce its own rules and reward SEO consultants that violate their guidelines.

    A small business owner has one goal with SEO. Generate leads and grow their business.
    They do not really care how it is done and if Google does not enforce its policies it makes it more difficult for people that do adhere to their guidelines to compete against people that do not.

    The catch 22 is if we start ignoring NAP guidelines we risk a possible penalty, but if the competition is successfully doing this and generating results for clients, we risk losing clients. Very frustrating!

    Curious what others think about this issue.
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    Re: Are Google My Business Guidelines & Spam Algos Working? - Online Ownership

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey Taylor View Post
    It is a great topic for discussion. As someone that preaches best practices and following Google guidelines, i recently saw a great example of a situation that coincides with your post.

    I had an Electrician in Phoenix that is located in the Northern part of the city and his GMB could not hit the 3-pack for the main search term "electrician phoenix". He did well for searches in the northern area of the city.

    He was told by an SEO person in one of his network groups that if he added "Phoenix Electrician" to his business name it would help his rank. I told him Google wants your business name only. Long story short... he added Phoenix Electrician to his business name section of his GMB and within a week he now is in the 3-pack for the very lucrative search term "electrician Phoenix"

    He has been ranking there now for over 3 months and his phones are ringing more.

    He threw this in my face questioning my 20 years of local SEO knowledge. It is frustrating as a veteran SEO to see Google basically not enforce its own rules and reward SEO consultants that violate their guidelines.

    A small business owner has one goal with SEO. Generate leads and grow their business.
    They do not really care how it is done and if Google does not enforce its policies it makes it more difficult for people that do adhere to their guidelines to compete against people that do not.

    The catch 22 is if we start ignoring NAP guidelines we risk a possible penalty, but if the competition is successfully doing this and generating results for clients, we risk losing clients. Very frustrating!

    Curious what others think about this issue.
    Agree with your points.

    Also, I think if someone is caught it's basically a listing suspension until you clear up the issue then they reinstate you. Meaning it's basically a slap on the wrist and you just go back to ranking where you used to. Almost no risk and all reward.

    I could be wrong about this but that's the way it seems. Might want to poll Joy about this.
    Tutelary Marketing, Owner
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    Re: Are Google My Business Guidelines & Spam Algos Working? - Online Ownership

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey Taylor View Post
    It is a great topic for discussion. As someone that preaches best practices and following Google guidelines, i recently saw a great example of a situation that coincides with your post.

    I had an Electrician in Phoenix that is located in the Northern part of the city and his GMB could not hit the 3-pack for the main search term "electrician phoenix". He did well for searches in the northern area of the city.

    He was told by an SEO person in one of his network groups that if he added "Phoenix Electrician" to his business name it would help his rank. I told him Google wants your business name only. Long story short... he added Phoenix Electrician to his business name section of his GMB and within a week he now is in the 3-pack for the very lucrative search term "electrician Phoenix"

    He has been ranking there now for over 3 months and his phones are ringing more.

    He threw this in my face questioning my 20 years of local SEO knowledge. It is frustrating as a veteran SEO to see Google basically not enforce its own rules and reward SEO consultants that violate their guidelines.
    Well said Jeff! Such a frustrating problem!
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    Re: Are Google My Business Guidelines & Spam Algos Working? - Online Ownership

    Quote Originally Posted by JoshuaMackens View Post
    Agree with your points.

    Also, I think if someone is caught it's basically a listing suspension until you clear up the issue then they reinstate you. Meaning it's basically a slap on the wrist and you just go back to ranking where you used to. Almost no risk and all reward.

    I could be wrong about this but that's the way it seems. Might want to poll Joy about this.
    It would be nice to know more details on this as I don't think there is a business in my industry who isn't breaking policies.

    Aren't suspensions like felonies? They stick with you lol the more you get the harder things become?



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    Re: Are Google My Business Guidelines & Spam Algos Working? - Online Ownership

    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher W View Post
    It would be nice to know more details on this as I don't think there is a business in my industry who isn't breaking policies.

    Aren't suspensions like felonies? They stick with you lol the more you get the harder things become?
    One would hope. Joy would know better. Give her some time to get in here and reply and I think we'll have our answer
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    Re: Are Google My Business Guidelines & Spam Algos Working? - Online Ownership

    Hi All

    Here is the really worrying bit to this case. This was reported in the forum and which I escalated and the team did not feel they had to act.

    Naturally I have queried it again, but I should not have to its not a subtle case with grey lines this is as clear as day.

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    Re: Are Google My Business Guidelines & Spam Algos Working? - Online Ownership

    It's gotten ridiculous. The last couple of times I've reported spam, nothing has been done about it.

    I typically call Google before I post something on the forum just so that I will have gone through all of the basic channels before bringing in the big guns, and this last time, there was a review spam situation that was so clear a child could see it. But the spammer didn't write any text, so I was told that it didn't violate any guidelines.

    So I said, "Ok, so what you're telling me is that I should go make a fake account and start leaving negative reviews on all of my competitors' GMB's, and there's nothing you can do about it, right?" Of course, she responded with something like, "All I can say is that these don't violate our guidelines and cannot be removed."

    It' just makes me sick. The only argument I ever hear is "One day, Google is going to catch your competitors and probably penalize them, so you don't want to go down that road." But I've been preaching that statement for ages, and it hasn't happened. In fact, it seems to have gotten worse.

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    Re: Are Google My Business Guidelines & Spam Algos Working? - Online Ownership

    The guidelines are working really well if your business is an exact keyword + location name

    Honestly though they are not working at all. Reporting businesses who are blatently violating the guidelines seems to have to affect. There are clear easy ways to manipulate the local rankings to achieve fast results and we always hope Google will come by to fix it. The reality is that they don't in most cases and when they do the people being manipulative are faster anyway.

    I think we need to see penalties similar to organic search manual penalties in local search.

    The biggest problems I see are blatant naming violations and fake reviews.

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