Use this strategy to wipe your fraudulent competitors off the map
3 mins read

Use this strategy to wipe your fraudulent competitors off the map

This could be due to Mike Blumenthal’s theory Near media: that Google’s spam detection AI has been trained on a limited number of confirmed spam emails. If reviewers or company profiles show patterns similar to those in this limited data set, their reviews will be automatically filtered.

This could explain why evolving spam methods like AI reviews fail to catch, while real reviews and real companies bear the brunt.

Apart from the “why” – What can you do about it?

You may feel powerless against this fraudulent competitor (or competitors). You may have even reported their profile or contacted GBP support without success.

Good news: You can defend yourself. You may just need to get your hands dirty.

Google won’t do the work for you, so you’ll need to create a case.

I know it may be frustrating or seem unfair, but it is Google’s sandbox after all. In this strategy, we’ll break down exactly how to spot a scammer and what types of evidence you need to present to Google so they can finally take action.

Step 1: Find review spam

Before you jump down that rabbit hole and become a full-on spam ninja, set your priorities.

My personal strategy is not to report every spam I can find, but to find the ones that have the most impact for my customers.

The golden piece will be a spam entry that ranks third in the map pack for a query where my client ranks fourth. In this scenario, pushing back a spam scammer by just one position (or even entirely) can more than triple my client’s clicks in that locale. (It is estimated that the map pack accounts for 44-61% of all clicks for a given search query.)

Tip: Distance is one of the top ranking factors for Google Map Pack, especially for “near me” terms. The map package can change completely within a few miles or even a few blocks in a city. To be effective at combating spam, make sure you’re also tracking hyperlocal rankings – not just cities.

There are different ways to get started.

A: Whitespark’s local rank tracker

In your Whitespark campaign, make sure you are tracking from multiple postcodes, not just the city center. Start with your company’s zip code and then add some surrounding zip codes.

As mentioned, an ideal scenario would be if my customer is fourth in a zip code. I know I could potentially win quickly. Most of my clients care less about their ranking reports – they just know if their phone rings. By prioritizing my spam efforts in this way, I can ensure the fastest real business impact for my customers.

Once you find relevant keywords and zip codes, go to Local rank tracker. Filter by the “Google Maps” view and scroll down to the list of tracked keywords.

Look for columns where you rank 4th: