I have been following the recent mapspam sightings with great interest. Location is a key factor in local search, so it’s no wonder that “entrepreneurial” marketers are doing there best to screw with Google’s (and other’s) fabulous mapping creations. To some extent I am willing to look the other way when a fellow SEO wants to try a little experimentation, but not when they are doing it right on my front porch.
Today I did a search for “Pleasanton SEO” and was psyched to see that I ranked #1 in web results and in map search. But when I saw results #2 & 3 for “A Pleasanton SEO Internet Marketing Firm Agency” and “A Dublin SEO Internet Marketing Firm Agency” my spam-dar (spay-dar?) went off. I looked in other nearby cities such as Oakland, Walnut Creek and Danville and sure enough the same company, SEOChampion.com, was listed in each. Now if the company had locations in all of these places that would fine but:
1. The company is located in Vegas and if you look on their site there is nothing about any other location.
2. I took a drive over to 4557 Hopyard Rd, their supposed address in Pleasanton, and this address does not even exist!
So what the hey Google Maps? Can I just sign up for Google Local Business Center with a bunch of made up addresses? I know you are supposed to verify with a postcard, but when I signed up my business I never received my postcard and yet there I am listed.
I honestly could care less if SEOChampion is competing against me in Pleasanton or anywhere else where people might need a Firm Agency. This just makes me wonder how much we should trust the data in Google Maps and other similar venues.
By the way I am opening up franchises in all major metros at -20 S. Main St. All interested franchisees please drop me a line.