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The State of Spam Combating: What We Discovered From Analyzing 5,306 Listings in 16 Industries


Within the 2021 Native Search Rating Elements Examine, there was a transparent development that caught out. Within the commentary, individuals listed spam-fighting as each an ‘efficient technique’ and a ‘technique that doesn’t appear to work anymore’. Wait, what? It’d make you surprise if try to be prioritizing reporting spam anymore.  To assist reply these questions, I’m going to be sharing some particulars from a latest examine we carried out at Sterling Sky.

In This Examine

  1. What industries have the very best share of pretend Google listings?
  2. Is spam declining in comparison with 3 years in the past?
  3. How massive of an issue is key phrase stuffing?


For this examine, over a four-year interval, we checked out 5306 listings, throughout 16 totally different industries, that had been rating on Google.  Our aim was to attempt to reply various questions on how efficient spam-fighting actually is and if spam continues to be an issue on Google.  On this examine, you’ll see us utilizing the terminology “pretend itemizing”.  We outline a “pretend itemizing” as a Google Enterprise Profile (previously Google My Enterprise itemizing) that was created and violates Google’s pointers, thus they eliminated it after it was reported.

Sterling Sky fake listing study


What Industries Have the Highest Proportion of Pretend Google Listings?

The very first thing to notice proper off the bat is that folks’s mileage could fluctuate when coping with spam resulting from how drastically totally different it may be throughout totally different industries.  This graph seems to be on the whole variety of listings we checked out in every trade, and what % of these listings had been faraway from Google for violating their pointers. 


TradeVariety of ListingsComplete Listings Google Eliminated% Eliminated
Hair Restoration2498935.7%
Funeral Companies1281511.7%
Drug Rehab57930152.0%
Dwelling Safety32110332.1%
Prison Attorneys53112323.2%
Tree Service1975728.9%
Private Harm Attorneys41631575.7%
Chapter Attorneys1993718.6%
Junk Vehicles76761580.2%
Personal Investigators27516158.5%
Insurance coverage19713267.0%
Storage Door Restore67659287.6%


Is Spam Declining In comparison with 3 Years In the past?

Based on Google’s numbers, they eliminated 7 million pretend enterprise listings in 2021.  This quantity was 2 million in 2017 and was 3 million in 2018.  630,000 of the listings they eliminated had been ones that customers reported to Google to take away.  That quantity has grown from 250,000 in 2018. So, not solely is Google stopping extra individuals from making an attempt to create pretend listings, however extra customers are literally reporting pretend listings too – in contrast to a couple years in the past.

What number of pretend listings you discover in a single market or trade can actually fluctuate based mostly on how massive of a market it’s.  Right here is an instance of the way it regarded for the junk automotive trade, in a big metropolis, over the previous couple of years:

fake junk car listings removed

Right here is the way it seems to be for a couple of different industries, by yr, in response to our examine:

Fake listings removed by yearThere are some industries which have truly improved drastically within the final couple of years.  For instance, the pretend itemizing community that plagued the private damage lawyer trade in 2019 truly acquired principally faraway from Google they usually have now moved on to Bing.  Simply search “automotive accident lawyer [insert city]” on Bing, and also you’ll get outcomes like this:
bing search results car accident lawyer

Nonetheless, Google has not solved the massive lead-generating networks for different industries, just like the storage door restore trade.  Pretend listings are nonetheless an enormous drawback on this trade and faux listings, like those under, are consistently popping up with pretend critiques on them.

How Massive of a Downside is Key phrase Stuffing?

Key phrase stuffing has been a standard follow amongst enterprise house owners and SEOs alike, resulting from how a lot key phrases within the enterprise identify influence rating within the native pack. For this part, we solely outlined one thing as key phrase stuffing if Google truly agreed and corrected the enterprise identify.

keyword stuffing by industry


TradeVariety of ListingsComplete Listings Key phrase Stuffing%
Hair Restoration2494317.27%
Funeral Companies1281612.5%
Drug Rehab579427.25%
Dwelling Safety321134.05%
Prison Attorneys531193.58%
Tree Service19773.55%
Private Harm Attorneys416102.40%
Chapter Attorneys19942.01%
Junk Vehicles767151.96%
Personal Investigators27551.82%
Insurance coverage19731.52%
Storage Door Restore67610.15%


Usually we discovered with key phrase stuffing companies, it could take a number of makes an attempt to get Google to repair the difficulty

What patterns are you seeing with spam on Google Maps? Share with us within the feedback under.


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