Google Spam Hall of Shame – A Well Deserved Group Award

This week’s second Google Spam Hall of Shame award goes to not one deserving business but to a group, who have worked hard and persistently to achieve this honor (drum roll please….)- the personal injury lawyers of the City of Orlando.

This achievement, of having every listing(ok two out of three1) in the 3 Pack and the top six Local Finder results be spammy,  took both persistence and a great deal of cooperation of spirit.2

So a word of warning to searchers in Orlando… don’t slip and fall outside your apartment building looking for your lost keys. Your Google search for locksmiths and injury attorneys will both only add cumulative insult to your already injured person.

Who knows what lurks in the reviews, marketing listings and virtual offices, I didn’t even bother to look but the frequency of suite #’s gives a clue.3

1- I have learned that listing number 3 is actually using a filed DBA, which brings up the whole issue of the world changing their business names to satisfy a “feature” in Google’s algo. Which makes the whole situation even more absurd. 

2- Hmm. I get that personal injury cases are profitable and worth a little stretch to get them but is it really worth the rough digital equivalent of ambulance chasing? So much for ethics boards. 

3- These results, even though anecdotal, are clear evidence of the sheer lameness of Google’s spam white paper conclusions.  All I can say is, its a good thing that only 1/2 of 1% of all of the Google listings are spammy and have been removed by them. Although I am not sure what you call what is left. 

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
Google Spam Hall of Shame - A Well Deserved Group Award by

8 thoughts on “Google Spam Hall of Shame – A Well Deserved Group Award”

  1. As this persists, even more of the “good guys” are going to give in to the whole “register a trade name with search terms in it” thing. I’m at that point unfortunately with some clients, and it doesn’t feel great.

    I’ve said it before (maybe here?), but I think G are going to find themselves in a similar position to the EMD situation, where they can’t really pull the plug on it without hurting a lot of folks who are technically following the rules (or the ones that are not even trying to take advantage, and their business name really is ‘Johns Electrical Repair’).

  2. Mike B,

    It baffles me that after all this time Google and their top engineers haven’t figured out way to resolve issue. There are online biz data sources to help flag this issue.

  3. @Nick
    re who are technically following the rules

    I would suggest that are following one rule but not following another… to not do things with the intention of manipulating Google’s results.

    I am not sure how Google is going to change this but it sure as created a very bizarre market dynamic.

  4. Sorry but the limited visuals here don’t help demonstrate what you are trying to establish. Also, you say 2 out of 3 in the 3 pack, which doesn’t sound alarming given you showed one 3 pack example only, and given that the 3 pack is constantly changing based on all the variables and parameters that folks like you study make for a good chance that this is a one off event.

    I’m sure there is more to this but it just doesn’t come through here

  5. Honestly… Google solely relies on individuals like myself who report the living sh*t out of spam listings in our markets. Down side… I’ve seen ridiculously obvious spam hang around for 9 months or more before Google finally removes it from initial report time. Those listings — or some variant by the same offenders — always return shortly after.

    I even had a company in New York call one of my clients while I was sitting in his office two weeks ago and offer to sell him a GMB listing that was “no longer being used” in our market that allegedly was getting over “100 calls per week”. Obviously a client cancelled on them, perhaps due to penalty if they’re offering to sell GMB listings, and they want to drag in another sucker — but it’s a shame that local has come to this.

  6. @Scott
    Abuses have been present in Google since it became obvious to scammers that there was a profit to made. I would say that it is a shame that it has not and still is not, up to the standards of quality and integrity that the public deserves.

    What is a shame is that I have been reporting on this since 2008 and little has changed.

    I had this naive notion that “enlightened self interest” would get this mess cleaned up.

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