Huge News: A New Way to Report Spam on Google My Business

Tim Colling

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I did a very similar thing for a company called Borland International* a long time ago, back in the days of forums on CompuServe.

It was called Team Borland.

A number of us who were users of Borland software were invited to become members of Team Borland and answer questions from users regarding the software published by the company, products like Quattro Pro, dBASE, Paradox and others. Paradox was my area of specialization, it was a desktop database product that competed with products like Microsoft Access, FileMaker and others.

Later in life I became an R&D manager at Borland and later I also worked in Marketing at the company. While in Marketing, there was a time when I managed the Team Borland program for the company. It was very interesting to see the program "from the inside out", to say the least.
 

djbaxter

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I remember Borland. :)

I was a big dBASE user/programmer back in the day. Much preferred it to Access and I was sorry to see it disappear, honestly. If I recall, the last version I used was dBASE 5. It was really excellent and very sturdy software.
 

Tim Colling

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dBASE was a great product, and so was my own personal favorite, Paradox. I was an R&D manager for some components of the first and second Paradox for Windows releases and the program manager for the last Paradox for DOS release. I was also program manager for a couple of releases of C++ Builder and the program manager for the first release of JBuilder. Those were great years and I look back on them fondly.
 

TomW

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Sep 1, 2016
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FYI - for the 'Name of the entity or oganization that is getting impacted" field you're supposed to put the name of the business you're reporting. GMB support on Twitter stated this yesterday and I confirmed today with our community manager in the GMB forum. Hopefully they will make some improvements to the form because it's not very clear at the moment.
 

Tim Colling

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Seriously though, @TomW thank you for that clarification. I had not noticed that.

I've submitted three or four so far and I must have done them incorrectly, then.
 

TomW

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Until the conclusion of said amelioration, if you observe any additional spurious Google My Business listings, I implore you to continue to offer your findings to the felicitous authorities at Google via the Business Redressal Complaint form in its current configuration.
 

Tim Colling

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"Please don't hesitate to arrange for the delivery of written communications containing words or text or written material to the department of excessive and obscure redundancy department."

:ROFLMAO:
 

Amy Toman

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Oct 3, 2018
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@Tim Colling I agree with you about the black hole, and if you want to hear more about this, a recent (3/4?) Last Week in Local podcast had a good discussion on the pros and cons of shutting down the forum. One interesting point is that the PEs were able to detect spam patterns that led to the detection of larger networks. I wonder how that will go with G taking over. Remains to be seen.
 

SwitchBack

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Dec 15, 2018
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The true difference between a spam hunter and spam reporter is the forensic investigation. Taking the time to document and going as far as you can to disprove that something is not real. In other words, gathering indisputable evidence. There is a reason for having a high success rate no matter the escalation channel... time, experience and patience in some cases.
^^
I wonder if there is a niche market for this?
Investigate, document and prove beyond "reasonable doubt" ... Yes, it's free to report, but we all know that some people just don't want to take the time to do all this work.
They would rather have someone else do it.

I'm willing to devote time to this startup, but the GMB spam forensics investigation price? Hmmm. $40? $75? $90? What's it worth to eliminate that pesky spammy competition?

Thoughts?

@BenFisher
@JoyHawkins
@Tim Colling
 

JoyHawkins

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Jul 18, 2012
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I would never charge per listing as listings get reinstated and that could get tricky. We just include spam fighting as part of our regular SEO service or charge our consulting rate (hourly) for anyone that just wants specific help with something.
 

JoshuaMackens

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Sep 12, 2012
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1,734
^^
I wonder if there is a niche market for this?
Investigate, document and prove beyond "reasonable doubt" ... Yes, it's free to report, but we all know that some people just don't want to take the time to do all this work.
They would rather have someone else do it.

I'm willing to devote time to this startup, but the GMB spam forensics investigation price? Hmmm. $40? $75? $90? What's it worth to eliminate that pesky spammy competition?

Thoughts?

@BenFisher
@JoyHawkins
@Tim Colling
I could see this being done effectively for agencies that don't want to take the time and know you're the expert at it and you'll have a much better success rate than they will. Just factor into your price the fact that some of them will be reinstated. So if you would charge $90 for listing removal if it stayed removed, figure out what % are reinstated (say 25%) and then charge just $67.50 (75% of $90).

I had thought about a service like this myself but don't have the time. I'd encourage you to at least explore it.
 

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