Google My Business released a new way to report spam businesses direct to Google without having to resort to suggest edits or trying to report via social media or forums.
This also means that the Spam section in the Google My Business help forum will be removed when the platform updates in the next few months.
The big news here is that these reports will go to a human for review and (guessing here) that spam reports will be filed against the listing, which means that a persistent offender is far more likely to have listing suspended for repeated offences.
The other big take away from this, is that Google My Business has finally realised the scale of the spam problem and now has dedicated human resources to tackle the problem.
Check it out: If you come across a business name, phone number, or URL on Google Maps that leads to fraudulent activity, you can submit a complaint. Learn more: https://t.co/C3MT1Kz79n
— Google My Business (@GoogleMyBiz) 27 February 2019
Reporting Spam Form
New Spam Reporting Form: Here
The one thing that strikes me as odd, is the name of the form “Business Redressal Complaint Form”, why not call it what it is – SPAM. Regardless of what they have called it, its a great start.
What Can you Report
The form clearly states what you can report, and what this form is intended for:
“If you come across misleading information or fraudulent activity on Google Maps related to the name, phone number, or URL of a business, you may use this form to submit a complaint. Complaints submitted through this form will be reviewed in accordance with our guidelines for representing businesses on Google Maps.
Please note that completing and submitting this form does not guarantee that any action will be taken on your request. Also, if your complaint is not related to fraudulent activity on the name, phone number, or URL of the business, we will not be able to review your complaint. Please use these steps to report problems for all other Google Maps features.
If you simply need to correct an incorrect business name, phone number, or URL, do not use this form.”
- Title: or Business Name – This would be if they keyword stuffing their business name and / or not using their real world name like; Bobs Plumbing – Emergency Plumbers in Corby – Should be – Bobs Plumbing
- Address: – This could be if the business is using a virtual office, mailbox, postal forwarding address or they are a SAB and using a home address when it should be hidden
- Phone Number: – This could be if the phone number is not the actual businesses number and is a call centre / redirects to main call handling number
- Website: – This could be if the website listed is not the businesses, redirects to another named business indicating a lead gen or spam listing or even if its been hacked and contains malicious content
As with any successful report, please provide detailed information why you are reporting and reference guidelines where applicable. The more details you provide the better chances of this being actioned.
You can also report multiple instances by uploading a spreadsheet and again make this as detailed as possible.
You can still report Spam via Google My Business social channels
This is a great start by Google My Business in tackling spam business listings and they have clearly dedicated “human” resources to this issue.
Long may it continue.