Google: How to notifify Google of Mapspam

Today in the Google Maps for Business Group, Maps Guide Jen provided public instructions on filing a Mapspam report:

 

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TOPIC: Report Spam on Google Maps 

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== 1 of 1 ==
Date: Thurs, Jul 10 2008 12:00 pm
From: Maps Guide Jen

To file a spam report with the Google Maps team, please reply to this
thread with the following information:

– Your search terms
– A link to your search results
– A short description of why you believe this is spam

If we don’t ask for additional information, you can assume that your
report has been read and is being investigated.

Kudos to Google for a necessary step. But never one to be happy with a half full glass when it could very easily be more half full, I would suggest that:
1)These instructions be included in the Google Maps Help files
2)That there be an obvious link in the Maps Results that allow reporting of bad results and capture some of the information that Google needs to diagnose the issues involved
3)There should also be a more discreet reporting option for those users that would prefer to make the report privately.

Even more importantly, Google needs to allocate the human resources to Maps to be sure that the Map’s records are truthful and accurate and that these reports DO get read on a regular basis. Obviously the Maps Staff are spread pretty thin and a poster to the group never really knows that the posts have been read AND that the report is being investigated. The Group goes weeks on end without hearing from a Guide and often obvious spam is not always dealt with quickly.

In the end the burden of the process should be squarely on Google’s shoulders and they need to step up to that responsibility. The above statement of procedure is a GREAT first step but it is just a first step.

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
Google: How to notifify Google of Mapspam by

6 thoughts on “Google: How to notifify Google of Mapspam”

  1. Mike, I actually sort of like the fact this is a public forum for reporting. That way users can subscribe to be updated whenever someone reports spam and learn from Google’s response to it as to what does and does not fall in the category of spam. I agree it could be more integrated into both the Listing interface and in the Help files. But this is a nice first step.

    It certainly seems like Google is making great strides towards improving their customer relationships, and that is a positive and welcome development.

  2. Hi David

    Yes I wholeheartedly agree that it is a great first step and a welcome development. And I agree that public reporting is probably the best reporting method.

    AS I note above, I am not as cracked up about the If we don’t ask for additional information, you can assume that your report has been read and is being investigated. sort of system…. Why should one assume that if there is no comment, no response, the Guide has not been seen or heard from in 3 weeks, that they have read it let alone investigated it?

    My method has been to post and repost in the group until I get some clarity but in the end, life is just not long enough.

    But it is a step and a good one….but why stop for good?

    Mike

  3. @David Mihm
    although I agree that public notifications by Google about, what is determined as spam a more private way of reporting should be available.
    a public denouncing of a competitor, for example an agency, could seriously hurt PR. it might not be up straight honesty but it’s something you’d rather avoid.

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