Google Maps Fixes Newest Hack & Adds Private Mapspam Reporting Form

Maps Guide Jen has commented that Google has now fixed the most recent hack that allowed records claimed in the Local Business Center to be hijacked:

Hi Mike,
Thanks again for bringing these cases to our attention. The issue involved was different from the ones that affected listings a few months ago. Like those, it’s now fixed.

Maps Guide Jen has also noted in her comments that there is now a Mapspam reporting form that replaces the previous publicly visible reporting thread in the Maps Help forum:

As you all know, we’re working hard to clean up the spam on Maps, and to make it easier and easier for business owners to make sure their listings are accurate. Keep sending your reports to us at “Report an instance of a user spamming Google Maps business listings” found here: http://maps.google.com/support/bin/request.py?contact_type=contact_policy

Sincerely,
Jen

The Mapspam reporting form is available in the Contact Options area of Maps Help.

The form (visible below) will hopefully encourage more active and detailed reporting of Mapspam to Google. In removing the postings from the public domain, though, it may also make it harder to bring the critical transparency to Google Maps that it obviously needs.


mapspam-form

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7 thoughts on “Google Maps Fixes Newest Hack & Adds Private Mapspam Reporting Form”

  1. I am so happy to see that Maps has added the ability to report spam privately. Some of the public reports have been open invitations for the spammers to pay back reportees with less-then-lovely ‘user reviews’.

    Do wish the ‘describe why this listing is considered spam’ box was larger and that the report offered a way to easily identify multiple instances of abuse from the same spammer. Some of these examples run into the hundreds or thousands.

    Anyway – the private reporting method is great news. :)

  2. Well if Google has fixed the problem someone should probably tell 24x7locallocksmith.com which you pointed to as one of the hijackers in an earlier post.

    Today I was researching locksmith listings for a post about how certain locksmith companies are capturing multiple top local spots in less than scrupulous ways and ran across 24×7 and they’ve simply moved on to hijack another hotel. This time it’s not 800 reviews it’s only 65 but guess where they’re sitting in Google Maps. You can see the screen shot on my post: http://www.dewpointproductions.com/seo_blog/local-search/locksmiths-crack-google-local/

    One of the questions to be asked here is why the domain wasn’t removed from the Google index?

  3. When Maps Guide Jen says fixed, what she means to say is that the security hole that was breached has been secured. Not that they went back and removed the many entries that got in that way.

    One of the questions to be asked here is why the domain wasn’t removed from the Google index?

    Good question. Their method is to remove the high profile, reported spam while leaving most of the listings in the index. If a problem is pervasive enough then they might rejigger their results to minimize the visibility or success of these spammy listings at some later date.

    I am with you. When there is a leak in the toilet pipe, you don’t just fix the pipe you clean up the raw sewage that was spilled. Otherwise your domicile will smell like s%*t.

    Mike

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