Sunday, January 23, 2011

Google Places May Be Hearing My Plea. More Changes In the Works. Attack on Spam!

Matt Cutts, the principle engineer (his title), and the spokesperson for all things Google Places, especially issues of spam, has posted on the official Google Blog regarding a major crackdown on Google Search Spam.

Meanwhile Mike Blumenthal is reporting, and it has been confirmed by others responding to his post referring to Google Places verifications that phone call verifications may be a thing of the past. 

Also reported in the same post is the reminder that there was an earlier period where phone call verifications disappeared, but then they reappeared.  Post cards are required for some of the most spammy categories like locksmiths, but this would be a major step in the right direction to eliminate spam in other areas.  It would make the SEM job harder, but ultimately more rewarding.

I had already noticed what seemed to be a realignment in the past four weeks or so, with white hat companies seeming to get their fair spots over not so white hat contenders.  We could only hope.  Maybe next Google will actually consistently reward those who claim and optimize their listings. 

Reported everywhere is that the entire Google Places review and Hotpot thing is as buggy as all new Google products are.  Agghhhh!


Jim said...

Looks like Google Places is making major changes: Search for 'internet' used to provide a map and listings; tonight it is gone. 'akron internet consultant' provided a map and listings; now it is gone. I was helping an attorney rank for the term 'elder law'...that is now gone. If you click on the Places' tab, of course, the listings are still there, but the beauty of GP was that it was THERE.

Would Google be shaking out any listings except for actual 'brick n mortar businesses?

Anonymous said...

I am in the tourism business and almost all of my competitors have multiple listings in google places by using home addresses and celphones, etc. They make up names that are close to other competitors or are simply search words (ie. City Tours of ...). I report them, but I rarely see these listings removed. I have stuck to my guns and not engaged in this black hat tactic, but it is tough to see there 3 listings coming up on a Google Places search vs. my sinle legit listing.

David Johnston said...

Well it appears that Google may have another agenda. They have just incorporated all the Yellow page listings into Places which pushes organics off the front page.
If anyone knows YP, they will know that YP will sell you as many categories as they can. Mr. Rogers says
" children can you spell SPAM?"
Were they not competitors? How are they allowed to join forces without government consent? One company who has multiple listings for the same business has 4 listing on Places while another who, while offering a completely different but competing service is listed on Places in our category because of YP. Is this not Spam or can we all do this sort of thing with Places? Is there a time limit for claiming your Places or do the business' that have websites etc simply have to be content with not even being in the same game as a company with only a phone number who appear much closer to the top? said...

I think Google's agenda is still the same. Provide the best possible experience for the person doing the search. I defend them to this point ... it is hard to do this business thing right...but surely they can do better than this.