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Danny Sullivan writes... Mike Blumenthal has been diligently covering how local listings can be hijacked by other businesses in Google Maps. He’s also been frustrated that Google doesn’t seem to be fixing the local hijacking problem. So to illustrate the problem, diligently covering how local listings can be hijacked by other businesses in Google Maps. He’s also been frustrated that Google doesn’t seem to be fixing the local hijacking problem. So to illustrate the problem, he’s posted how he took over Microsoft’s business listing — turning it into Microsoft Escort Service — and how those from Apple, IBM, Coca-Cola, GM among others were also vulnerable.
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from planetc1 2239 Days ago #
Votes: 0

It seems almost unbelievable that this can be done. I know a company in my industry that tried to hijack the large number of unclaimed listings and then tried to hijack mine. We got a postcard from Google which included the perpetrators e-mail address as the individual requesting to change our account.Every business should be claiming their listing ASAP.

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from mercylivi 2239 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Timely alarm for the businesses that did not claim their listing yet! Good Post. And need a voice from any Googlers in this regards???

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from davidmihm 2239 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Hey guys and gals, I feel like we should sphinn Mike’s actual post on the subject as well http://sphinn.com/story/82231 :)But it’s nice to see someone with Danny’s profile raising this issue.

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from christof 2239 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I’m so sick of my client’s local business listings being hijacked! I’ve ended up having to call the offending ’businesses’ to ask them politely to refrain. Not much fun. Can’t wait for the Google guys and girls to fix this. I spoke to Justin Baird (Google) at Search Engine Room conference, Sydney - a couple of weeks ago - he said they’re working on it.

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from mbeijk 2239 Days ago #
Votes: 0

christof, make sure the business is claimed by you/ your client. it shouldn’t be possible to hijack it once it has been claimed via the LBC.

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from MapsJen 2235 Days ago #
Votes: 0

(cross-posted to Mike Blumenthal here)Hi Danny,We appreciate your continued efforts to help us identify spam on Google Maps. The wiki nature of Google Maps expands upon Google’s steadfast commitment to open community. That said, we also work very hard internally to identify behavior that doesn’t benefit the community and to take the appropriate actions. We look forward to more and more users getting involved to help us keep Google Maps fresh and accurate.As you know, mapspam is a difficult problem to tackle - in many ways, more difficult than webspam. Some of these scams go far beyond maps [see this ABC News Story on Locksmith scams]. We take mapspam very seriously and we are working on it, in consultation with our webspam team. While some of the changes we’ve made so far have been less visible, we’re confident that we’re on the right path to effectively reducing mapspam. We think you’ve already recognized that there isn’t an overnight fix.Please keep the feedback coming, including the direct reports of spam on Maps.The Google Team

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from dannysullivan 2235 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Jen, thanks so much for your comment. I also totally understand that there are issues that can pollute core search listings beyond your control and before edits are even done. And there is value in allowing the edits. But the issues with edits has been raised for six months or longer now, and honestly from the outside, the problems seem to be getting worse, not less.This simply would not be tolerated if we were talking about the web search results. There is no way -- no way -- Google would just let anyone walk in, make an edit to a web search listing’s URL or title and effectively hope for the best. But that’s the situation with Google Maps -- and these Google Maps results often sit above the web search results.In hindsight, better controls should have been put in place before edits were ever allowed. I think we’re coming up on a year since markers were allowed to be moved (see Search Engine Land coverage here. And what Google blogged about that then:"You might be worried about people monkeying with markers. Fear not, we’ve thought of that. Whenever you find a recently-moved address or business, you’ll see a "Show original" link you can click to see where the marker was originally. If it’s in the wrong place, just move it to the right one."Well, we’re still worried -- and more than locations are being moved, and the "Show original" solution put out there then isn’t seeming to stop stuff.I’d still like to see you at least immediately implement an RSS feed of ALL changes hitting Google Maps, so that those who want to more closely monitor and help Google spot bad edits can do so. Looking back on past coverage, I see we even wrote about the the Live Edit viewer rolled out last January. I’d forgotten about this!The viewer is cool to watch but not really that helpful as a monitoring tool. Give us a textual audit trail -- clearly that data is flowing into the viewer, so it shouldn’t be that hard to implement.

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