Google Maps Hijacker to Boss: “Oops I hijacked the wrong business”

The Locksmith industry brings out the worst in search marketing and where but New York City to get the worst of the worst? A recent trend in hijackings there and elsewhere across the country has been cross industry hijackings where a restaurant or hotel record is stolen by a blackhat locksmith for the benefit of its many reviews.

These hijackings are easy to spot because the volume of reviews is SO high compared to the rest of the listings in the 10-Pack. Note the listings marked with the arrows were hotels or restaurants in Google Maps once upon a time:


But sometimes even the best of bad intentions can go woefully astray. This listing had 785 reviews and each was worst than the last….

Would you shop at a locksmith that couldn’t even steal a good business listing?


Is it possible to unhijack a listing? Otherwise this hijacker’s job should be on the line.

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
Google Maps Hijacker to Boss: "Oops I hijacked the wrong business" by

16 thoughts on “Google Maps Hijacker to Boss: “Oops I hijacked the wrong business””

  1. Mike: In general, I’m with you. I also want Google to improve. Here is a terrific opportunity.

    Google should reveal the name of the hotel whose record was stolen. It would be an exceptional public service, possibly eliminating dissease from unsuspecting guests.

    Who knows? Maybe the sneaky blackhat webmaster working on behalf of the locksmith has the public’s health concerns at heart.

    Where is that filthy hotel?

  2. If you do a reverse lookup of the address 250 W. 43rd St, NY, NY Google has the following businesses
    At this address:
    123 24 7 Locksmith
    Carter Hotel Parking Garage
    J & B of North America Inc
    Locksmith Manhattan 24 Hour Service (877) 289-0102? –
    Lucky Star
    Midtown West

    Here is the Streetview Scene of the Carter Hotel

    I would suggest not using either the locksmith or the hotel, and I would urge caution on the Lucky Star.

  3. Nice catch, Mike. hmmm, Carter hotel, Lucky Star Cafe, google and some blackhatting locksmith webmasters. This is turning into a PSA, distributed by Google 😀

  4. The review stars do not show up in universal search so I’m guessing the hijacker only cares about placement on that page.

    How many users really do click through to read reviews, compared to the number who imply follow the links from the Ten Pack?

  5. Wait…
    Carter Hotel Parking Garage???

    Maybe all these unhappy people were staying in the parking garage. Could explain their miserable experience.

  6. @Miriam
    Ah but that doesn’t explain the bed bugs 🙂


    Interestingly a mole at Google snuck me the logs for those deep interior locations in Maps…

    Of the 5 visitors over the previous 30 days, 3 had IP addresses that cross referenced to readers of this blog (myself, Miriam & EarlPearl), 1 was from a florist in SF and the 5th was the owner of a spammy locksmith site.

    The above comment has been redacted due to its lack of humor.


  7. Wow, Mike: We have been guessing, estimating, pondering the volume of traffic that actually looks at the information in the LBC. Bingo. Doesn’t that data indicate how rarely people go to the LBC data.

    Ugh. Everything in the LBC is simply usable as a trigger to try and get higher ranking within maps and more relevantly higher ranking in the maps insert into organic results via universal search.

    Very revealing information. So much for filling the LBC with valuable information.

  8. @EarlPearl

    In the spirit of the above article, I must admit that I made every piece of information up in response #8.

    Sorry for misleading you. 🙂 And it isn’t even April 1.


  9. “Interestingly a mole at Google snuck me the logs for those deep interior locations in Maps…”

    Mike, I feel like we’ve built up some amount of trust when we’ve talked back and forth, so please take what I’m about to say in the nicest possible way. 🙂 To even joke that someone at Google would ever do something like this is incredibly inappropriate. You may have intended it humorously, but to people at Google, this made-up comment was pretty offensive and has got quite a few people here angry.

    Would you mind making your comment more clear that this comment was completely false, fabricated, made-up, a joke? Some big red bold text in the actual comment for example?

  10. (incredulous) Holy Google Dots Batman!! I’ve never seen so many reviews on a business listing. {blink blink,…rubs eyes} Yeah…still there. wow… Its kind of beyond believe that whoever did the reviews actually think someone might ‘believe’ they’re for real. I mean…1124 reviews?

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