Mapspam Already on Kumo/Bing?

I said I was going to do some poking around on Kumo/Bing on the local side of things beyond what I did yesterday for Search Engine Land. But Matt McGee beat me to it and found . . . mapspam on Kumo/Bing. He said he compared it to Live Search results for “locksmith” and found the results to be the same in both places.

He then questioned whether there was any “back end” update to results as opposed to just interface changes. I was explicitly told by Microsoft that there were algorithmic changes and upgrades beyond what’s going on with Live Search. But Matt found the same spam on the local results for Bing that he discovered on Live. Certainly a disappointment there. I’ll do my own checking around later on.

Here’s Matt’s screenshot:

Picture 2

Here’s the Live Search screen from the same search for Locksmith, New York:

Picture 3

On this particular search result it’s not clear (to me at least) whether these listings are true spam or simply a failure to properly identify businesses that actually exist at these addresses. It does look like spam however.

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4 Responses to “Mapspam Already on Kumo/Bing?”

  1. earlpearl Says:

    The entire issue of mapspam is something which should be addressed by all the search engines that supply a version of locald information through a format, whether they call it Maps or Local.

    Mike Blumenthal has clearly looked at this in greater depth than the rest of it…and approaches it from a perspective that simply identifies it as wrong. It needs to be fixed. All the search engines need to respond accordingly.

    I’m aware that in his research Mike found that the spammers attack all the versions of local and maps. Most of the subsequent commentary is focused on Google because it draws the most traffic….and the mapspam on its site, or its errors cause the most problems for people with real businesses and real customers.

    The Spammers go everywhere they can. They are getting a free ride….and not being pressed for spamming Yahoo or MSN/Live/Bing but they go there. They get positive results from these efforts. The public doesn’t focus on the impact but the traffic from these engines is less.

    Maybe the engines focus on it…maybe they don’t. My impression is that they don’t focus enough on the issue.

    There is ultimately criminality involved. The spammers are stealing business from real people.

    I noticed something recently that absolutely frightens me with regard to the responsibility that the Search Engines owe the public. Its sort of a tangent..but to me it speaks to how the engines might be treating this issue.

    Google came out with new terms of service with regard to changes in Google Base. An interesting thing about the changes is that they seem to be really looking at the addresses of the suppliers of information in Google Base. That implies to me that the data in Google Base will flow into Google Maps.

    But I found the terms of Service scary in this regard. There are several paragraphs, written by qualified and experienced attorneys….that describe in detail how the results Google shows….may have errors….and that Google is completely free of responsibility with regard to these errors. The paragraphs covering this issue are quite thorough and comprehensive.

    Okay, Google. Good lawyering on your part…but terrible policy. My impression is that Google is putting more effort into protecting its @ss than in cleaning the mess….THAT IT CREATED. The spammers didn’t create the versions of Local and Maps…the engines created them.

    I believe if one engine aggressively tried to clean up the spam, advertised it, reached out to the larger web world and businesses it would take a leadership issue on this problem.

    On a strictly anecdotal basis I’m aware of at least one case where a relatively large hotel had its record stolen in at least one engine.

    It had to have an impact on revenues. It was theft. The hotel industry is large, visible, and has a significant presence such that if it made a big issue about this…the issue of map spam….and theft would reach the larger public and the law. Sooner or later that is going to happen….unless the engines become more responsible.

    One search engine should step to the plate. To date the full volume of problems associated with either mistakes or theft in the versions of Local and Maps have identified health and life and death issues…..and theft from businesses…along with blatant misinformation to the public.

    My $0.02. :D

    Dave

  2. Greg Sterling Says:

    Agree. It has to be dealt with and it should be addressed collectively by the major engines.

  3. programmi gratis Says:

    With something like this …. lets see if MS can get some of Googles market. But this Bing seems fantastic!

  4. earlpearl Says:

    More on the critical importance of the engines taking responsibility of their Local products and information. I pulled this link off of Mike Blumenthal’s blog. Its got Danny Sullivan speaking to the sometimes horrible data that comes out of the local versions of the engines..and covers other great issues

    http://blumenthals.com/blog/2009/06/01/danny-sullivan-speaks-at-where-20-on-the-non-zen-of-google-maps/

    There have to be some very very loud voices to get the engines to take responsibility. In one of the examples from the video…it took the nation of Germany. That is a loud voice. Frankly, though, I wonder how many police departments across the land suffer the same problems as Danny saw?

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