Google Local Maps Spam Invades Knowledge Graph

Nov 5, 2013 • 9:03 am | comments (21) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Maps

Pegman Google MapsLinda Buquet, a top contributor in the Google Local forums, posted a thread in the Google Webmaster Help forums complaining about a massive spam attack in Google that started working on August 22, 2013.

Linda explained that spammers are injecting fake listings into Google+ Local pages, targeting the generic keyword phrase and location for their offerings and coming up in the top knowledge graph result.

For example, a search for [Dentists in Sevierville, TN] brings up a bogus listing:

click for full size

Linda said that she "called the number and it's a young girl's cell phone. Her Mom answered and was totally perplexed." The street view image shows an apparent residential area.

Google Local Knowledge Graph

There are dozens of examples and complaints about this in both the local business forum and Google Webmaster Help.

Have these been causing issues for you?

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

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Michael Ramsey

11/05/2013 02:16 pm

So far I haven't come across totally junk listings, but some clients have competitors who have company names that exactly match certain keywords that now dominate more than ever before. In some cases taking top positions for their own domain, and various directory/business listings taking the majority of subsequent FPRs. Will be keeping an eye out for junk listings.


11/05/2013 02:35 pm

Historycal italian query: hotel milano marittima.


11/05/2013 04:03 pm

"massive spam attack" - can't be. According to Matt Cutts, head of the spam team, there will be no actions taken against spammers in the next 6 months. Obviously, according to his information spammers run away. He is now on hackers !!! Barry, drop video from Pubcon to the lady.


11/05/2013 04:07 pm

I found similar case - in italian serp - where "knowledge" result born from spam (places naming, keyword stuffing, ...). But I found similiar cases too where "knowledge" result was "random".


11/05/2013 04:17 pm

I'm sure Barry can drop you copy as well )

Linda Buquet

11/05/2013 04:56 pm

Barry, thank so much for airing this problem which is affecting tons of small legit businesses that are locked out of the 7 pack. The main thread to report these problems is here: Attack of the Bad Google Local One-Boxes! 74 posts filled with complaints. All have been reported to Google and Google is watching that thread, so if you report there, they will see it. Google has manually been removing the spammy, bogus ones but they have not rolled back that algo yet. If you or a client is affected post #51 gives some tips about what you can do. TIP for consultants: You usually can't see these bad one-boxes (Or Linda Boxes as many are calling them LOL) with a cross country search unless you set location to the city the business is in. So unfortunately that's what the locals are seeing too! Thanks again, Barry.


11/05/2013 05:28 pm

This problem is still going on? Google really needs to focus more on their local product. This article rings pretty true to me:


11/05/2013 06:21 pm

google is now high authority spam and useless pages search engine :) But MC tell us what they are happy and enjoy it.


11/05/2013 06:23 pm

yes, or matt cutts lying us again????


11/05/2013 07:29 pm

Finally mass media pointed out what the mess current Google is. I see it more and more.


11/05/2013 09:12 pm

multiple results for same domain return again... (too)


11/05/2013 10:44 pm

Crazy that Google doesn't crack down on this stuff!

Yo Mamma

11/06/2013 02:28 am

You spam guys are the best! Kudos gents, keep spamming Google. Anyway, Americans are more concerned about Xmas mall shopping attacks. Its a priority issue

Sundar Rawat

11/06/2013 08:10 am

yeah... i am also getting the same on Specially UK based results.. Domain crowding is back it means.

Soni Sharma

11/06/2013 08:25 am

This is obvious.. Google will show results in few cases where it will not find genuine and good quality results.


11/06/2013 08:53 am

I have seen a lot of these kind of results when searching for phrases like "seo consultant mumbai" where people have created exact match Google+ local pages and even minus a profile pic or any kind of updates, they are still managing to rank...

Jitendra Vaswani

11/06/2013 12:51 pm

Yes soni u r ri8


11/06/2013 04:36 pm

all google now like it. they change everything, drop 90% of sites and may be after few years will know about it from newspaper. And ask us later - why peoples think we are evil :)

Gracious Store

11/06/2013 09:03 pm

This absurd why have these spammers chosen to make things difficult for everyone. It is a very difficult hard task to manually check every site that appears in search engine result for authenticity, otherwise that is the only way to eliminate such sites from search results. I think everyone of us can help in this by giving the names of such sites to Google if by any chance we come across them in our search results


11/07/2013 01:10 am

i think google do it for level of coalition.


01/08/2014 08:40 am

Does this SERP trouble persists after more then two months from this post? In italian "hotel milano marittima" bug still exists: ps: Milano Marittima is a "location" and isn't Milan!

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