The High Stakes Game of ‘Mapspam’

http://maps.google.com/intl/en_us/images/maps_results_logo.gifMike Blumenthal has a fascinating post about a local attorney who allegedly hired someone to get him placement in Google Maps. The hired webmaster/SEO guy spammed Google with bulk uploads and now the lawyer has been banned from Google Maps for “the foreseeable future.”

As a result, the attorney complains: “I have suffered at least a 30 percent drop in business.”

Placement in Google Maps results (and thus prominently in Google search results) has become an increasingly high stakes game for some with corresponding instances of mapspam. Amazingly, even one of Google’s partners, Earthlink, has apparently engaged in it.

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2 Responses to “The High Stakes Game of ‘Mapspam’”

  1. justin Says:

    this is simply the maturation of local search results. this has has been a part of traditional SERPs for over a decade. it was simply a matter of time. the trigger being the prominance of local results in traditional queries. beyond human stories like this, what this does, is drive counter activity from the SE which will ultimately involve better algos and tighter controls. Next will be the manipulation of UGC where “spam” (unnatural reviews and ratings) will become the dominate and easier way to influence results and prospect perception. placing multiple listing on a explicit local query is silly. this form of spam will be stamped out in the matter of months. but the focus on manipulation will continue and such is the cat and mouse that the rest of the search world has lived in for a long time. anytime an algo is the means to rank sites, people will be infatuated with finding the keys. from highjacking businesses to unnatural UGC, this is something we should get used to and position ourselves around.

  2. earlpearl Says:

    Its an excellent article on its own right. Participation by both Matt Cutts and continued commentary by the individual who was interviewed, and whose site(s) were banned in Google Maps via a slew of comments makes it even more fascinating.

    The ease with which google maps can be spammed, the fact that it drives customers to businesses, and the fact that it is free advertising are all provocative issues.

    Its easy, its free, and it works in driving business.

    That is an invitation to TONS and TONS of this.

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