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


Within the 2021 Native Search Rating Components Research, there was a transparent pattern 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 surprise if you ought to be prioritizing reporting spam anymore.  To assist reply these questions, I’m going to be sharing some particulars from a latest examine we performed at Sterling Sky.

In This Research

  1. What industries have the best proportion of faux Google listings?
  2. Is spam declining in comparison with 3 years in the past?
  3. How large 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 have been rating on Google.  Our objective was to attempt to reply a lot of questions on how efficient spam-fighting actually is and if spam remains 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 tips, thus they eliminated it after it was reported.

Sterling Sky fake listing study


What Industries Have the Highest Share of Faux Google Listings?

The very first thing to notice proper off the bat is that individuals’s mileage might differ when coping with spam as a consequence of how drastically totally different it may be throughout totally different industries.  This graph seems to be on the complete variety of listings we checked out in every business, and what % of these listings have been faraway from Google for violating their tips. 

fake google listings by industry


Trade Variety of Listings Whole Listings Google Eliminated % Eliminated
Hair Restoration 249 89 35.7%
Funeral Companies 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%
Legal Legal professionals 531 123 23.2%
Tree Service 197 57 28.9%
Private Harm Legal professionals 416 315 75.7%
HVAC 1082 243 22.5%
Chapter Legal professionals 199 37 18.6%
Junk Automobiles 767 615 80.2%
Personal 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 response to 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 have 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 some years in the past.

What number of pretend listings you discover in a single market or business can actually differ based mostly on how large 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 couple of years:

fake junk car listings removed

Right here is the way it seems to be for a couple of different industries, by 12 months, 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 harm lawyer business in 2019 truly acquired principally faraway from Google and so they 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.  Faux listings are nonetheless an enormous downside on this business and faux listings, like those beneath, are always popping up with pretend opinions on them.

How Massive of a Downside is Key phrase Stuffing?

Key phrase stuffing has been a standard observe amongst enterprise house owners and SEOs alike, as a consequence of how a lot key phrases within the enterprise title impression 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 title.

keyword stuffing by industry


Trade Variety of Listings Whole Listings Key phrase Stuffing %
Hair Restoration 249 43 17.27%
Funeral Companies 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%
Legal Legal professionals 531 19 3.58%
Tree Service 197 7 3.55%
Private Harm Legal professionals 416 10 2.40%
HVAC 1082 25 2.31%
Chapter Legal professionals 199 4 2.01%
Junk Automobiles 767 15 1.96%
Personal 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%


Typically 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 beneath.


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