Businesses Guilty Of Creating Fake Listings
Search Engine Optimization will always remain critical to acquiring target customers. Achieving top ranks in SERPs will help businesses attract the increased number of potential customers. Especially, when it boils down to locating local businesses, customers increasingly place reliance on local SEO listings.
Perhaps, some of the SEO service providers are taking advantage of this fact and creating fake listings on Google. Columnist and SEO professional Joy Hawkins noted this aspect and pointed out what SEO should avoid doing while optimizing Google My Business profiles.
The entire turn of events started off with a single search result. According to Hawkins, Google was showing Mississauga SEO firms, whenever somebody searched for ‘Toronto SEO’. Such results sowed the seeds of suspicion in Hawkins’ mind, and she went on further with her investigation.
Investigations revealed that businesses were using certain specific keywords to create fake listings. Other than that, there were some more revelations in this context.
Let’s get down to revealing the hard-hitting truths
- Hawkins came across 23 listings. She reviewed all of them and found as many as 15 listings that should not even qualify as business listings.
- Only 2 out of those 15 businesses had their origins in Toronto but have been including keywords in their trade names.
- Only six listings were in compliance with ‘Google My Business’ guidelines.
Understanding the Violations
These surprising disclosures brought certain highly crucial factors into our notice. Businesses guilty of creating fake listings have violated quite a few Google’s guidelines. The most important ones include:
1. Keyword Stuffing
According to Google’s guidelines, firms cannot include marketing taglines, special characters, or location addresses in their business names. However, the fake listings violated this policy, thus stuffing their business names with keywords.
One of the offenders was clearly the worst in this category. It had the title of ‘Toronto Seo – Internet Marketing – Search engine optimization Toronto. Their business name didn’t even give them enough space to write the complete spelling of the word ‘Toronto.’
2. Multiple Listings
Google has crystal clear guidelines for business owners regarding the creation of listings. Entrepreneurs do not have the permission to create multiple pages for single business location. Also to this, service-area-businesses must have not more than a single page for listing their central office.
There were severe violations of this particular guideline, as one of the businesses featured listings in numerous regions of Toronto.
3. False Business Addresses
Google directs companies to make direct contacts with their customers during working hours. Now that means, remote locations won’t be acceptable here. However, offenders didn’t seem to give much importance to this particular guideline and included fake addresses in listings.
By committing such hideous errors and following such undesired malpractices, SEO are doing no good for their clients as well as themselves. They are tainting Google’s reputation, thus digging holes for potential businesses in the long run.
Business owners must take the initiative and report any such events immediately!