How do you find spam?

Mmclean07

Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2020
Messages
8
Hey everyone, there's a chain of bogus listings in my area that compete with similar keywords as my business. I've reported the listings before, and generally have had success getting them removed. However, from time to time I'll find that they come back (sometimes new listings at different addresses).

I'm wondering what you all recommend for staying on top of spam? Do you make it a habit to search your keywords and check the results for spam, or is there another way to do this?

Thanks all!
 

EmilyW

Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2020
Messages
55
I'm wondering what you all recommend for staying on top of spam? Do you make it a habit to search your keywords and check the results for spam, or is there another way to do this?

Thanks all!
This is a great question that I would also like to hear input on. I've just started incorporating spam fighting and am curious how others recommend incorporating it into the work flow. Right now, I'm doing basic keyword searches when setting up a new GMB. I'm using a spreadsheet template for follow ups. I plan to go back and check in on the locations once they are taken down, about once a quarter. What are you finding is good patterns for your workflow?

Have you seen this article? [2019] The Ultimate Guide to Fighting Spam on Google Maps - Sterling Sky Inc
 

j_holtslander

Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2019
Messages
117
I use Google Maps built in "Save to List" function to keep track of spammers.
I even have a list for "Successful busts" so I can check up on them again later if need be.
The lists are also shareable.

You could have a public list called "Spammers" if you wanted to and it might even show up on the offending businesses' listing as "In the list "Spammers" by Mmclean07."
(I've seen this happen.)
 

EmilyW

Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2020
Messages
55
I use Google Maps built in "Save to List" function to keep track of spammers.
I even have a list for "Successful busts" so I can check up on them again later if need be.
The lists are also shareable.

You could have a public list called "Spammers" if you wanted to and it might even show up on the offending businesses' listing as "In the list "Spammers" by Mmclean07."
(I've seen this happen.)
I have a couple of questions @j_holtslander as a follow up. We are taking spamming more serious, and I love your idea of the lists function. I've used it to keep myself organized, but did not realize that it was shareable. Thank you! Do you have any backlash for reporting if the business sees they are on your "spammers" by Mmclean07? Assuredly, they will never know because they are not a legit business, but for those exceptions, I wonder what your experience has been. Also, how much time to you designate for spamming for a client's listing? Is it one time, ongoing? Is this an add on service? Hearing a lot of perspectives on this, interested in yours. Thank you!
 

CraigJMount

Local Search Expert
Joined
Oct 23, 2017
Messages
84
I think one important thing to remember is that not all spam matters. The only spam worth fighting is spam that either (1) outranks you or (2) has the potential to outrank you.

Using a keyword tracking tool that tracks rank by a geographic grid is a good way to do this.

Scan an area for the keyword phrase you are trying to rank for, look at the listings that are beating you. If they are spam, remove them.

I'd recommend repeating this process for all of your or your client's keyword phrases.

Screen Shot 2020-02-19 at 9.31.50 PM.png
 

JoyHawkins

Administrator
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LocalU Faculty
Joined
Jul 18, 2012
Messages
3,382
Scan an area for the keyword phrase you are trying to rank for, look at the listings that are beating you. If they are spam, remove them.

I'd recommend repeating this process for all of your or your client's keyword phrases.

Screen Shot 2020-02-19 at 9.31.50 PM.png
Agreed - we use Places Scout to do this.
 

EmilyW

Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2020
Messages
55
Using a keyword tracking tool that tracks rank by a geographic grid is a good way to do this.
Thank you for this specific information! How often do you recommend monitoring this? Is this something you check at the initial set up, then come back to at regular intervals?
 

Eric Rohrback

Moderator
Joined
Oct 3, 2012
Messages
1,017
I'm checking in once a month per client at this point to flag & try to remove spam.

Maybe I should be doing more?
 

j_holtslander

Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2019
Messages
117
Do you have any backlash for reporting if the business sees they are on your "spammers" by Mmclean07? Assuredly, they will never know because they are not a legit business, but for those exceptions, I wonder what your experience has been.
I have no public lists. I did have one public list by accident and I turned it to private immediately the moment I realized that people on the list could see it.
Also, how much time to you designate for spamming for a client's listing? Is it one time, ongoing? Is this an add on service? Hearing a lot of perspectives on this, interested in yours. Thank you!
Fortunately it hasn't been a problem for clients much yet. The worst offenders in my area are SEOs.
 

EmilyW

Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2020
Messages
55
I'm checking in once a month per client at this point to flag & try to remove spam.
When doing so, lets say you can see on the geo grid that you're ranking number 5 in one part of the grid. Do you only research the 4 above you for spam?
 

Eric Rohrback

Moderator
Joined
Oct 3, 2012
Messages
1,017
When doing so, lets say you can see on the geo grid that you're ranking number 5 in one part of the grid. Do you only research the 4 above you for spam?
No, I'm actually looking through the first and second pages of map listings. It might be overkill, but that's also why I only schedule it once a month. My reasoning behind doing it this way is that seeing spam in a lower position may still catch up and reach a client ranking above it.

They're spamming to gain an advantage. If they're already within the first or 2nd pages of results then it's possible they could start leapfrogging legit pages soon (depending on what they're doing elsewhere). I would rather take them out as soon as I see them rather than wait for them to leapfrog my client for any amount of time.

It also feels good to help the community as a whole :) If I'm seeing spam and getting annoyed by it, I'm sure other business owners are too. As long as other companies are playing by the rules as they compete, there's no reason to get mad about them doing better. I'd look to them for inspiration at that point to turn what I'm doing up a notch to get to their level.
 

EmilyW

Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2020
Messages
55
No, I'm actually looking through the first and second pages of map listings. It might be overkill, but that's also why I only schedule it once a month. My reasoning behind doing it this way is that seeing spam in a lower position may still catch up and reach a client ranking above it.
I'm totally onboard with catching spam, and its helpful to hear different methods! I've started by looking at first and 2nd pages, but that seems to be generating a lot of leads on potential spam. Might be the industries these are in? Do you mind me asking how many locations you are monitoring each month? Do you support from your team, or do you do this solo?
 

Eric Rohrback

Moderator
Joined
Oct 3, 2012
Messages
1,017
Around 10. We actually don't have a ton of pure local play type clients at the agency I'm at. I'm in the minority of knowing these tactics, so I handle all of it myself. It helps that they're mostly regional, so I can spot the fakes pretty easily.
 

EmilyW

Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2020
Messages
55
Around 10. We actually don't have a ton of pure local play type clients at the agency I'm at. I'm in the minority of knowing these tactics, so I handle all of it myself. It helps that they're mostly regional, so I can spot the fakes pretty easily.
They are lucky to have someone watch their listings so regularly. Thanks for sharing a little bit about what its like for you. I'm always curious!
 

j_holtslander

Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2019
Messages
117
Further to my earlier message about utilizing Google Maps’ lists. If you do save them, I recommend adding a note so that when they are busted, you can still see who it was from your note as opposed to the leftover coordinates as a title.

eg:

241F4A10-3C24-4BB1-A91D-158DB17695E9.jpeg
74E4C3D2-4E5C-4962-8AE3-EF4104D1E6B9.jpeg
 

EmilyW

Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2020
Messages
55
Further to my earlier message about utilizing Google Maps’ lists. If you do save them, I recommend adding a note so that when they are busted, you can still see who it was from your note as opposed to the leftover coordinates as a title.
Very helpful. Do you have a recommended format, or do you just enter the business name?
 

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