Steps in Reporting Spam Search Listings

Google has long been cracking down on fake Google Map listings. As an effort to make their platform a fair and useful for all its users, they are encouraging business owners to flag suspicious listings. This process will also help you rank higher on the local pack and gain better visibility on your target audience.

Here’s our quick guide on how to report a spam listing:

Step 1. Search for a keyword

First, search for a keyword that you’re using for your SEO. Also, make sure that your location is set to the actual location of your business. This way, you’ll see the results of the keywords as if you’re an internet user looking for a service or product.

Next, check the results on the local pack. If you’re not in the top 3 results, click “More Businesses”. This will open the Local Finder, which is a long list but still bears the same ranking as the local pack.

Check where you rank and what listings are included. After that, proceed to Step 2.

Step 2. Identify which listings are spammy

At this point, you should look for spammy listings that are preventing you or other businesses from ranking. The first thing you have to check is the NAP of the businesses. If you see two or more that have the same phone number or address, mark it suspicious.

To confirm, this you can phone the business to ask for their address and name. You can also raise it to them that they have spammy listings.

Next, check the Google Streetview of the address. If it’s somewhere in an empty desert or the middle of the road, you can consider it a spam.

Step 3. Report the listing 

Once you confirm that the listing is spam, it’s time to report it to Google. The basic step here is suggesting and edit. Make sure that you choose the right edit option and that you attach a screenshot of your proof. After that, you can send it to Google and wait for a response.

However, if you didn’t get a response or if Google didn’t take down the spammy listing, you can use the Google Redressal Complaint Form. Google created this form specifically for reporting spammy and fake listings on Google Maps.

You can report multiple listings you find spammy. However, make sure that you have enough proof to support this.

Step 4. Monitor the results 

After sending the edit suggestions, you’ll receive an email from Google confirming that they received the request. Wait for 24 hours for Google to act on the edit suggestion. Usually, they will remove or edit a listing within the same day. With that, you can rank higher on the Local Finder and even make it to the local pack.

Feel free to repeat this process for other keywords. This is so you can remove spam listings that prevent you from being on the local pack. Still, you should know that even if you removed the fake listings, you may still fail to make it to the top three. This is where further optimization comes in.