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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 Research, 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 would make you marvel if try to be prioritizing reporting spam anymore.  To assist reply these questions, I’m going to be sharing some particulars from a latest research we performed at Sterling Sky.

In This Research

  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 huge of an issue is key phrase stuffing?


For this research, over a four-year interval, we checked out 5306 listings, throughout 16 completely different industries, that had been rating on Google.  Our aim was to attempt to reply quite a lot of questions on how efficient spam-fighting actually is and if spam continues to be an issue on Google.  On this research, 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 tips, 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 might differ when coping with spam attributable to how drastically completely different it may be throughout completely different industries.  This graph appears on the whole variety of listings we checked out in every business, and what % of these listings had been faraway from Google for violating their tips. 


Trade Variety of Listings Complete Listings Google Eliminated % Eliminated
Hair Restoration 249 89 35.7%
Funeral Providers 128 15 11.7%
Drug Rehab 579 301 52.0%
Realtors 237 30 12.7%
Dentists 156 20 12.8%
House Safety 321 103 32.1%
Felony Attorneys 531 123 23.2%
Tree Service 197 57 28.9%
Private Harm Attorneys 416 315 75.7%
HVAC 1082 243 22.5%
Chapter Attorneys 199 37 18.6%
Junk Automobiles 767 615 80.2%
Non-public Investigators 275 161 58.5%
Insurance coverage 197 132 67.0%
Locksmiths 114 48 42.1%
Handyman 259 73 28.2%
Storage Door Restore 676 592 87.6%


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

In keeping with 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 trying 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 business can actually differ based mostly on how huge of a market it’s.  Right here is an instance of the way it regarded for the junk automotive business, in a big metropolis, over the previous few years:

fake junk car listings removed

Right here is the way it appears for just a few different industries, by 12 months, in keeping with our research:

Fake listings removed by yearThere are some industries which have really improved drastically within the final couple of years.  For instance, the pretend itemizing community that plagued the private harm lawyer business in 2019 really bought largely 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 business.  Pretend listings are nonetheless an enormous downside on this business and faux listings, like those under, are always popping up with pretend critiques on them.

How Massive of a Downside is Key phrase Stuffing?

Key phrase stuffing has been a typical follow amongst enterprise house owners and SEOs alike, attributable to how a lot key phrases within the enterprise identify impression rating within the native pack. For this part, we solely outlined one thing as key phrase stuffing if Google really agreed and corrected the enterprise identify.

keyword stuffing by industry


Trade Variety of Listings Complete Listings Key phrase Stuffing %
Hair Restoration 249 43 17.27%
Funeral Providers 128 16 12.5%
Drug Rehab 579 42 7.25%
Realtors 237 12 5.06%
Dentists 156 7 4.49%
House Safety 321 13 4.05%
Felony Attorneys 531 19 3.58%
Tree Service 197 7 3.55%
Private Harm Attorneys 416 10 2.40%
HVAC 1082 25 2.31%
Chapter Attorneys 199 4 2.01%
Junk Automobiles 767 15 1.96%
Non-public Investigators 275 5 1.82%
Insurance coverage 197 3 1.52%
Locksmiths 114 1 0.88%
Handyman 259 2 0.77%
Storage Door Restore 676 1 0.15%


Usually we discovered with key phrase stuffing companies, it might 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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