Wednesday, October 20Digital Marketing Journals

Google Starts Cheering Anti-Spam Edits in Google Maps


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Just about every day I send in edits on Google My Business pages that have committed one party foul or another, but this is the first I’ve seen Google go out of its way to encourage those edits:

It was a partial edit of a business’s name, in which I removed a single stuffed-in keyword.  I find two things interesting, at least in this case.  The first is that I made that edit back in 2018.  The second is that that edit has stuck for almost 3 years, even though it would have been easy for the business to add back in the keyword.  Often when you make a Google Maps edit on the name of GMB page and Google agrees with your edit and makes the change, the business just changes the name back to whatever it was, and Google doesn’t do anything about it.  Often it becomes a tug of war.

I wasn’t the first to notice this; it’s reported in this tweet from last month.

But that’s it.  I haven’t seen anyone else mention it yet, nor have I gotten similar nudges from Google on other edits.

So far, Google doesn’t seem to cheer recently-submitted, recently-approved edits.  You’d think if that Google really wanted to encourage more Mapspam policing you would get emails on fresh edits, the same way Google emails you all the time about photos and reviews you posted.

Of course, only some kinds of Google Maps anti-spam edits can even get 80,000 views.  A completely bogus GMB page that you get removed no longer gets any views, of course.  I suppose those sorts of edits would be harder to encourage, even though fake GMB pages are the most damaging type of Google Maps spam by far.

Presumably you could get the same kind of email if you make a “popular” edit unrelated to spam, like on a business’s hours, but notice the subject line of the email: “Your reported problem is making a difference.”  Seems to have a spam-control flavor to it.

Have you seen this before?  If so, when, and for what kind of Google Maps edit?

What do you think Google is aiming for here, exactly?

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