My “Deep Throat” Gets Banned, Goes Public

PureSheer, a locksmith internet marketer that has shared Google Maps blackhat techniques with me, recently posted this into Google Maps Help Forum:

So Maps Guides, you thought all Locksmiths are ‘Black hat’, ay?!

Hey Maps guides,

I’m the one that post the issue of “Stealing Gmaps claimed listings” to Mike Blumenthal (which, as in a generosity way, forwarded this issue to you).

After that many of my claimed listings got hijacked by my competitors, I knew I’ll crack the method to do it myself & that I’ll send you my revelations in order to shut down this option. Well I did & you replied to Mr. Mike Blumenthal that this issue is no longer can be done, however 10 hours ago, couple of my accounts got closed by you & all the listings that were in them are not on line anymore.

I know I’m paying the price for playing spammily in Gmaps. Well, can you blame me? – during the last 7 months I’ve posted in Maps Guide Jen’s forum for numerous cases of spammy listings of ‘Scam of the art’ locksmith companies. The issues were- bulks of tens of thousands of ‘fake addresses listings’, listings that they claimed to me & my colleges, listings that they claimed to other businesses or organizations (Restaurants, Local Directories, Etc..), & claimed listings that they stole to me (& to many others).

The Locksmith business I represent suffered from angry customers that got ripped off, as we are appearing in the listings with a full profile & not hiding from no one, but the listing got hijacked &  the phone numbers leads to other company that don’t have any interest in Customers Service but in making fast money. Moreover, the amount of calls to my represented Locksmith business dramatically dropped due to those companies never-stopping new listings creation process.

Guys,

I’m advertising in Gmaps for a year & a half now and the last 8 months are unbearable. I’m mastering the Local world & eat it for breakfast, lunch & supper.

I’m considering me as a “good guy” (that trying to survive) & I’m just waiting for the time that the option of uploading numerous listings & claim open (& claimed) listing will not be possible at all. Let me play by your rules, you’re doing great job & running a great & very useful feature here, but I think it’s too vulnerable.

I have more spicy issues that I’m keen to tell you. I’d like to reveal it all & get it off my chest.

Please, If would be kind enough, contact me by this mail.

One request though, {WITHOUT ANY REGARDS TO THE ABOVE PARAGRAPH} please reactivate my accounts so I’ll be able to edit them, please. I’ll be happy whether you’ll be able contacting me about this issue as well, so I’ll give you my accounts info.

Thanks ahead guys!

Puresheer is one of the many that seem to have been sucked into the hypercompetitive world of locksmith marketers that have gone over to the dark side to stay competitive in the unregulated environment that was (is?) Maps.

But, unlike many, he recognized the slippery slope on which he was perched and decided to come forward. He did this long before he was banned and he took steps to reveal the illicit tactics and techniques being used. He attempted to help clean up the Maps world by stepping forward while trying to preserve his standing there. He succeeded at the former but failed at the latter.

While it is inevitable and appropriate that Google ban him, I would suggest to Google that his actions do deserve consideration and perhaps leniency.

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
My "Deep Throat" Gets Banned, Goes Public by

11 thoughts on “My “Deep Throat” Gets Banned, Goes Public”

  1. First, let’s applaud Puresheer for his commendable efforts to shed light on the spam in the locksmith industry. I agree that his willingness to expose the very tactics from which he and others are benefiting should inspire an attitude of leniency on the part of Google. If they won’t reactivate his listings, perhaps they ought to consider hiring him as a paid spam fighting consultant. He seems to have a in-depth acquaintance with the underbelly of Local.

    Secondly, let’s join Puresheer in urging Google to launch a serious investigation into their own system and put in place such safeguards as will make this kind of thing a million times harder.

    Mike, this was a great article. A real page-turner (if you can say that about a blog post!)

    Miriam

  2. Things certainly aren’t black or white are they? Who can really know another’s motivation and thinking?

    But I totally agree with you on urging Google to put in place a system that prevents this sort of abuse. Pureshear notes that there is more to be exposed.

    Mike

  3. It seems that Google Maps is becoming more and more like regular Google Search where you are better off just going completely White Hat and wait for Google to penalize the Black Hats.

    Anything other than can get you banned and it is just not worth it. What we do need though is a little more intuitive LBC, kind of like Webmaster Tools.

  4. Let’s get real. The businesses that are ranking are by and far the businesses that are spamming. I have made so many map spam reports, my fingers are raw.

    I dare not do it. But freaking bloody hell, please Carter, create an algo to make it fair for the ones who are playing by the rules. Maps is awesome. But to make it profitable, one must spam it.

  5. Check the listings in Los Angeles. Besides the standard scam company operations as Locksmiths-Los Angeles, MyLocksmithUSA and others, we are currently dealing with the Google Maps listings being “hijacked” by a guy named Martin Hanania.
    He operates three or more FAKE locksmith scam operations. In & Out Locksmith, Locksmith-Pros and RC Locksmith.
    This criminal has stolen DOZENS of real, legitimate locksmith listings and inserted his own phone numbers and website links. He has FLOODED Google Maps with hundreds of spam listings for these fake companies and is linked to many rip-offs. His creepy, sketchy, UNLICENSED fake locksmiths have even used the company names of REAL locksmiths.
    WHY does Google allow this? What am I missing? This really HURTS legitimate locksmith business as I have been told that ALL locksmiths are scam artists and these guys were the example.

  6. I bent the rules too, cleaned up per the TOS once I actually read through it.
    One of my competitors apparently turned me into the Gmaps spam cops and I lost my Google places account for a couple weeks.

    So… I requested reinstatment and agreed to sin no more… guess what?

    The G Powers that be let me have my Google Places account back (sans the keyword stuffing ones that were the egregious violators)

    how did I pull that off?

    …I told the truth, I told Google that I didn’t really read the whole TOS and know I know not to call the company anything other than what is on the business license:

    What I did to “bend the rules” was to use the companies actual tag line, a tag line they really DO use, some of them were printed on the signage outside the shopping center.

    well…. do that at your peril

    Bottom line is: redemption IS possible with Google if you run afoul of the TOS

    btw: they really do mean what they say in a TOS

    And someone @ Google really does read all the posts in their help forums/ support forums… a human may not respond but (trust me on this) they ARE reading what complaints are in there.

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