WARNING: Watch Out For This Google My Business Fake Listings Scam
Ethical Local SEO strategies will ensure your business will do well in Local search results. On the other hand, unethical behavior—such a keyword stuffing—will get you suspended or banned. There are “businesses” out there that offer these types of “services”. Bill Hartzer, an SEO Consultant, spotted an ad on Facebook from one of these businesses. See his Tweet below.
So basically, this GMB Genie “service” makes it possible for anyone without a real address to spam the @GoogleMyBiz listings with multiple “locations” that they will verify via phone and not a postcard. Want 100 listings? No problem! #stopcraponthemap pic.twitter.com/I7lVsuHI9n
— Bill Hartzer (@bhartzer) December 15, 2018
A genie is a spirit who is able to grant wishes. Finding one would grant the lucky wisher a speed pass on the “easy road”. The easy road, however, isn’t always the road you should travel on. Case in point: GMB Genie claims to able to instantly verify your Google My Business listing in any city in the USA, Canada, UK, and Australia.
Bill writes, “So basically, this GMB Genie “service” makes it possible for anyone without a real address to spam the @GoogleMyBiz listings with multiple “locations” that they will verify via phone and not a postcard. Want 100 listings? No problem! #stopcraponthemap.”
Using a service like GMB Genie will get you suspended, or banned, from Google maps. In addition, it would likely destroy your rankings in Local search results. Cheating isn’t worth it! Instead, focus on ethical business practices. Google and other search engines are smart and they reward who should be rewarded and punish who should be punished.
Google My Business Strikes Back
Here’s what the GMB Genie sponsored ad says. “Search Engine Marketers: Want to verify your own Google Map listing in any US City and State, INSTANTLY? Read on and act NOW… So what is this GMB verification method? Well, it is a way to get Google to trigger phone verification and bypass the p…”. They continue to write about how their service works and it’s clear that the service exists to “bypass” normal procedures with Google My Business. Bad idea!
In Bill’s Tweet above, he mentioned @GoogleMyBiz to get their attention about GMB Genie’s business practices. It only took Google My Business a few days to respond and take action. They Tweeted back, “Hi Bill! Thanks for letting us know. We’re always working on improving our product and user experience for Google My Business. We’ll be sure to forward this over to our team for further review. Thanks again! -Anne”.
Now that Google is aware of GMB Genie’s business practices, GMB Genie can say goodbye to their search results rankings, or worse. As a matter of fact, searching for “gmbgenie.com” doesn’t return the website in Google search results. To get to the website, you’ll have to type the website address in the URL search bar.
Featured photo by CC0 Creative Commons on Pixabay