Latest Google Spam Technique: Invent Fake Street Addresses And Show Up In Google Listings
from the spam-spam-spam-spam dept
- Set up a listing in Google Maps at an address that does not currently exist. For example, where there is a 60 Main St., Anytown and a 64 Main St, Anytown and these represent real addresses. Set up your listing at 62 Main St.
- Name your business USKeyword-City, or Keyword-Pro-city or Fictitious name of person plus keyword for the personal touch.
- Build citations to your listing. These listings contain citations from Yahoo Local, Hotfrog, Guidespot, local.newstimelive.com.
- Create a blog on one of the sites for the purpose of creating a perfect citation for thousands of listings.
- Link build
- Give your new listing a sparkling review
- Now find an adjacent town and repeat. Again and again and again again
Apparently, the more aggressive, less ethical "black hat" SEOs are seeking to take this to a new level, with new software on the way that will make it easier to bypass various attempts by Google to control this and, at the same time, use spamming engines to write fake "reviews" for these spammed "businesses."
As the report notes, there are two key areas of weakness in the way Google has implemented this:
The two phases of spamming Google Places are the insertion of fake business locations and the creation of fake reviews. Both are embarrassingly easy using the techniques described above.Considering how much work has been done by SEO folks in just a few months, it will be interesting to see how Google responds. The company has always promoted its "anti-spam" efforts, but it sounds like not much forethought was put into the Places integration.
Google Places obtains business locations from web pages created by the business itself, advertising directories ("Yellow Pages") entries paid for by the business, and from "place pages", also created by the business itself. There is little if any verification against objective data sources, such as business licenses, corporation registrations, and business credit rating services such as Dun and Bradstreet. This makes it possible to create fake Google Places entries.
Recommendations are obtained from recommendation web sites. Most recommendation sites allow free account creation and have little information about their members, so the cost of creating phony identities for recommendation spam is low. Because the typical local business has a relatively small number of recommendations, only a few phony recommendations are needed to promote an individual business location.