Google: Don't Spam Maps Categories, Rather Get Customer Reviews

Dec 17, 2010 • 8:35 am | comments (4) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Maps

A Google Places Help thread has a Google Maps Product Manager, Jeremy Sussman, responding to how to help improve your Google Maps rankings.

He offered specific advice to one Google Places holder telling him not to take advice of someone in the thread telling him to add himself to more categories. You can, but only if it is relevant to the business. Let me quote Jeremy.

Actually, having a bunch of categories is *not* what you should do. Categories are meant to be a description of what your business is, not a place for you to stuff keywords for which you want good search results. This is spamming our algorithm, and even if it works temporarily, over time our algorithms will get smarter.

Fraser's, what you want to do is concentrate on generating information about you on the web. Encourage your customers to write reviews about your business. Basically, our goal is to know how well perceived your business is, and therefore to give our users a realistic view of the world.

Jeremy also posted a how local search ranking works video, which I will embed here.

Do you think you should add your business to more categories and not listen to Google's advice?

Forum discussion at Google Places Help.

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12/17/2010 04:43 pm

We've removed our business from many categories, focused specifically on one, and only a handful of keywords. It's allowed us to get clients that are a better match (can't be all things to all people) .


12/17/2010 06:23 pm

Please, for the love of...put your business hours on Google Maps, and that means you too big companies. I hate messing with my Droid finding out theres no hours of operation on the listing. I end up having to call the company itself for that info and go through their terrible "Press 1 for" systems.


12/20/2010 03:45 am

Jeremy Sussman had a great advice. It will be difficult to have more categories which is not even related to your site. That's too irrelevant. His goal is good in perceiving the business to give the users a real view of the world.


03/17/2011 10:59 pm

At least spamming keywords in categories is not explicitly forbidden by Google Quality Guidelines. Spamming Place Name is explicitly forbidden. Yet after reporting (hundreds of listings, several times, over a period of more than a year) a competitor of my company that clearly spams hundreds of their place name listings with multiple keywords and Geographical terms, no action has been taken by Google. These spammed listings use doorway websites that make the Company name seem to match the spammed listing.... So Jeremy, I ask, "Is that all it takes to fool the algorithm." Should I lower myself to the level of my competitor's behavior and construct doorways on an unrelated domain? Because the hosest way is costing me lots of dollars.

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