Google Maps Ranking Jewish Businesses For Nazi Related Keywords?

May 21, 2010 • 8:45 am | comments (10) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine

A Google Places Help thread has one business owner complaining that he is receiving tons of traffic from Google Maps for Nazi related keywords. He explained he is a Jewish business owner and his top queries reported in Google Places is Nazi keyword related. He said "as a Jewish owned business, this really worries me!"

The top queries he received include swastika building, nazi building, swastika, balloon utopia, event decor, nazi headquarters, atomic bomb and nazi. I did a search for [swastika building, san diego, ca] in Google Maps and his business was the fifth result, right below a Jewish Synagogue named Tifereth Israel Synagogue‎. Here is a picture:

Nazi Keywords for Local Balloon Company

So what is this about? I mean, we are aware there are buildings that look like Swastikas in Google Maps:

Swastika on Google Maps

So what is going on here? Is this some type of hacker attack like we saw with Swastikas in Google Trends or is this something else?

Forum discussion at Google Places Help.

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05/21/2010 01:19 pm

What you see is only one result of the everlasting war, I guess it started some 2000 years ago.

Julie K

05/21/2010 02:04 pm

Have any of these buildings or businesses been subject to hate graffiti? I'm imagining news coverage of such a thing possibly influencing, although I've never seen that happen directly previously. It'd be theoretically possible...


05/21/2010 03:03 pm

This is happening because Balloon Utopia regularly advertises or has links on several jewish websites that also reference swastikas and bombings, etc. Here's one such site. You can see balloon Utopia's ad at the bottom of the page. GoogleBot is seeing these articles and their about swastikas and bombings and nazis surrounding the link to balloon utopia and associating that content with that business. If you don't want to be associated with Nazis, don't advertise on sites that talk about Nazis!

Chris Silver Smith

05/21/2010 04:18 pm

Ryan is correct. Here's my longer explanation and a few possible solutions:

Barry Schwartz

05/21/2010 04:27 pm

Interesting. Thanks for digging deeper.


05/21/2010 05:10 pm

Oy Vey, the controversy! Another relevant story from Barry the Super Jew. Give it a rest already.

Barry Schwartz

05/21/2010 05:16 pm

How often do I write about anything Jewish related here. Wow, are you serious? Do you read the stuff on this site? You give it a rest. As I always do, I report on discussions from the forums. That is what I do. I found this interesting and I still do.

Chris Silver Smith

05/21/2010 10:54 pm

Mr. "Wow" - If you'd taken five seconds to read my diagnosis of the issue you might see that the implications are actually far greater than this one business - what happened exposes a small weakness in Google Maps that actually leaves any of the millions of businesses in the system vulnerable to a form of Google-bombing. Further, you should see that Barry's instinct that this could somehow be related to the swastika building in Google Maps was dead-right! If he hadn't highlighted this story, it wouldn't have come to my attention and I wouldn't have gone in to diagnose what was happening. As it stands, I now intend to push Google to address this issue to avoid potentially bigger problems down the road -- so, a great many small businesses found in Google Maps may benefit from this. Frankly, the story was broadly significant since it's related to the original Swastika building in Google Maps -- that original story was covered by major news organizations, world-wide, including CNN. Barry highlights interesting and significant stories related to search all the time -- just because this one is also related to his personal ethnicity has virtually zero to do with his choice to highlight it, in my opinion. Heck, I highlighted it, too, and it's not related to my ethnicity. If you want to criticise him for mentioning things on this forum because they'd only be of interest to him or a subset of the population, you should've made sure that this wasn't actually as newsworthy as it really is. On second thought, the man owns this forum and provides it to you to use, so if you don't like his content just leave instead of posting anonymous negative comments.

Barry Schwartz

05/23/2010 01:34 am

Thanks Chris. :)

No Name

05/28/2010 03:41 am

From someone involved in SEO projects this is very scary and a real eye opener. Thanks

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