Google Maps Florist Hijackings Still Showing in 10 Pack

9/25/08 9:30 pm Google has removed the deceptive listing and returned Kalman Belli Florist to the 10 Pack. This was reported into Google Groups earlier today by the owner.

9/24/08 10:00 pm Google has yet to remove this hijacked listing and restore the original florist to their position in the Local 10-Pack.

9/21/08- Remnants of last week’s floral hijackings are still showing in the Local 10-Pack:
Google Maps Lisitng hijacking San Francisco Florist

Here is a Groups correspondence from one of the affected merchants:

======================================
TOPIC: Flowers San Francisco
======================================

== 1 of 1 ==
Date: Sat, Sep 20 2008 10:31 am
From: Marc

Our LBC listing for our flower shop Kalman Belli/Podesta Baldocchi
which is under letter D still has the hijacked listing ” Amazing
Flowers Sale 10% off… When you click through to the map we are
there however it just does not show up in the main listing and we are
losing business. Can anyone at Google help get rid of this last bit of
hijacked listing and replace it with our proper info etc..?

Amazing Flowers Sale-10% off
– www.convenientflowers.com – (814) 677-7979 – 23 reviews

This should read Podesta Baldocchi or Kalman Belli as does our true
listing shows when you click through to the map site. As well our
reviews are correct.

Thank you

Marc
======================================

The Kalman Belli/Podesta Baldocchi flower shop has claimed their record in the LBC and reverted the hijacked content. He has done his job. Google needs to do theirs. Will Marc need to wait 6 to 8 weeks for a Universal Search index update? Let’s hope not.

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
Google Maps Florist Hijackings Still Showing in 10 Pack by

11 thoughts on “Google Maps Florist Hijackings Still Showing in 10 Pack”

  1. Well, I sure hope they can help Marc, too, and I must confess, the name of Podesta Baldocchi is legendary in my family. Back in the 60’s, when my parents were young folks, they went to Podesta Baldocchi, taking along my older brother who was a toddler and my older sister who was just an infant at the time. Well…my sister somehow managed to latch onto a giant crystal vase, worth hundreds of dollars, and knocked it right over, filling the whole shop with a deafening, splintering crash. The place fell utterly silent. My parents were so horrified.

    The florists were incredibly nice, and very thankful that nothing had happened to the baby, but my folks felt so dreadful, they shamefacedly bought a Christmas ornament – a green pine cone. Every year, they would take this out of their Christmas box and tell about their hair-raising experience at Podesta Baldocchi. It became the stuff of family lore, and they still feel badly about the vase.

    So, for that reason alone, out of my sense of ancient family shame, I hope Podesta Baldocchi can get their listing fixed asap. They deserve it, and my parents are still very thankful that no one suggested they pay for the broken vase, which they certainly couldn’t have afforded to do!

    Thanks for keeping us posted on this one, Mike. Fascinating.
    Miriam

  2. Two things. How can Google stand the scrutiny of a system that accomodates, or encourages theft? That is what is going on. That is lawsuit material in my way of thinking.

    Its certainly not a better search engine, in this regard. Its a contributor to theft. If its correction mechanism is such that google’s in house corrections take approximately 6 weeks, it becomes an aider and abettor of theft. While Google and Yahoo undergo a surprising review with regard to anti-trust (surprising in the sense that in this time and age hardly any businesses are ever reviewed for monopoly/anti trust violations)….this is the type of situation that should be brought to the eyes of the regulators.

    This big company gets all the traffic, has established a system that accomodates theft, and then is seemingly not doing anything about it on a timely fashion. Yet we know they make hand changes to things, if and when they deem it important. I guess theft from small businesses and florists isn’t deemed important by them.

    2nd thing. Great story Miriam!!!!!!!

  3. @Dave

    I am with you. Not only have they not responded to this situation in a timely fashion, the whole situation was a predictable outcome that one could see coming for many months. Google did not put adequate safeguards in place to prevent it from happening. They have culpability on both sides of the equation. They left the door to the florist’s shop unlocked and then when someone stole something they have not walked after them or even called the police. To add insult to injury they left in place an ad for the thief with his url and phone number.

    Perhaps their excuse is, “We just didn’t know that we had WMD (and we didn’t think anyone would use them if we did) “. :)

    Mike

  4. Hey all-

    I wanted to inform the group, especially Mike that our 10 pack listing is now back to normal. JB brought this to my attention in the wee hours of the morning. All I can say is thank you Mike for putting our issue at the forefront of your blog, to Cathy for her hel, JB for much direction and blogging and countless others who chimed in and lent a hand of support. As well, there are other floral sites that are coming back to normal! This is great news and I must say it was nice to have the phones ring a bit more today and see some additional internet traffic!
    With that said, the fight has just begun- I am taking this to anyone who will listen ! There must be more control put on these third party companies like CJ who just sign up anyone or anything with out a care in the world other than manking more money. Don’t tell me 1800florals did not profit off of this debacle and to date they have not done a damn thing to change the way they do business! I want a full disclosure of how this happened and what mechanisms will be put in place to keep it from happening in the future.
    Again, thank you so very much-

    Marc
    Podesta Baldocchi

  5. Hi Marc

    Thanks for stopping by. I am glad to hear that you have had your listing restored.

    I wouldn’t celebrate too much for the florist industry at the moment. I just searched on ConvenientFlowers.com and still found plenty of their listings in Maps.

    On the search flowers Brooklyn NY they are still showing in the 10 Pack.

    I would love to hear your plans to pursue this going forward. It is obviously still a problem in plenty of other industries like locksmithing as well.

    Mike

  6. You bet Mike- No celebrating here as there is much work to be done since many florists are not even aware of this issue. I am just getting after it here-
    I am navigating the AG’s office and working to get my voice heard. Additionally I am trying to make contact with the SFDA.
    Best-
    Marc

  7. Is there any update on what eventually happened? I know the issue sort of got resolved but was any sort of action taken?

  8. Well Google eventually fixed it and implemented a slightly more rigorous review process of community edits. In some countries it has been a cause for criminal charges being filed. In that case the “perpetrator” was ultimately convicted and given 200 hours of community service. In that case, Google made the following somewhat disingenuous statement:
    A Google spokesperson says the company is aware of the case, but says it is the first attempt the company has heard of involving malicious intent.

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