How to find and report Spam/Fake Businesses on Google [Ultimate 2021 Guide]

Professor M
Professor M

Expert, Trainer, Speaker - Google My Business and Local SEO

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Google Maps has millions of illicit Google My Business local listings and hundreds of thousands more are created each month.

Google said they removed 3 millions of fake profiles in the last few years.

However, Google spam detector is not 100% effective so that’s why we still see a lot of spam on Google, frustrating many genuine business owners and professionals. 

If you have some time and wish to understand the impact of spam on businesses and consumers,  you should read these News Outlets articles :

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/13/google-maps-spam-fighters.html

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/appliance-repair-industry-online-listings-1.5762489?__vfz=medium%3Dsharebar

https://www.today.com/video/how-ghost-businesses-are-stealing-your-money-70073925647

Spam is a huge problem for Google Local listings. Why? 

These fake listings push real businesses further down the local search results, impacting your ability to reach customers and make unsuspecting consumers easy targets for scammers.

What are the most common types of spam/fake listing on Google?

All listings with any of the issues below  are considered spam or fake:

  • Keyword stuffing in the Business name –  by adding categories, products, town, city to the name
  • Keyword stuffing in the Address – by adding categories, products to the address field
  • Lead Gen businesses, fake businesses and  “ghost-businesses”
  • Duplicate listings, businesses with multiple listings to showcase different categories and/or service areas
  • Unhidden Private residences, bogus addresses, virtual offices, UPS stores, PO Boxes,  employees’ home address, etc
  • Online-only businesses

Just check below a Bright Local Poll about the type of spam often seen:

GMB Spam Examples

Business Name Spam (Keyword stuffing)

Address Spam (Unhidden Private residence)

Lead Gen businesses, fake businesses and “ghost-businesses”

Map Local Listings PackFull of Spam/Fake Businesses

Choose your next Chapter:

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