Update: MyMapInfo, the SEO who was working on Artie’s site, commented on Will’s post that I had mistaken him for a spammer when he has been trying to get his client to rank well after the client was the victim of map spammers.  I’ll take him at his word and apologize for impugning his reputation on these hallowed pages.  That said, I do think MyMapInfo could have avoided this public flogging by not linking to his client’s site from the comment section of Will’s post which gave him the appearance of a comment spammer. And just to show him that my heart is in the right place if you need a 24 hour locksmith in New York I recommend Artie’s!

But read the post anyway – I think it’s pretty good.

Mike Blumenthal has written extensively about how locksmith spam has taken over Google Maps.  If they gave out Pulitzers for search bloggers, Mike would surely be in the running for this series.

Tonight I heard from Will Scott at Search Influence that his post “1000 Locksmiths in New York City” had attracted a genuine Locksmith spammer to the comments section.  I thought you all might enjoy observing a map spammer in the wild.  See if you can spot just how many different ways he is spamming Google all in the name of Artie’s Hardware & Locksmiths New York, NY.

The first indication is that Artie’s has 84 reviews in Google Maps.  Now I love my locksmith as much as the next guy, but I can barely remember his name, let alone write a review for him.  You’ve got to love this reviewer – for some reason the guy felt compelled to write reviews of six locksmiths, including reviews of two different locations for Artie’s.  Then again maybe this guy is not a spammer – perhaps he just has a penchant, or more likely a fetish, for locking himself out.  Wash your hands after you work on that guy’s doorknob Artie.

Will’s post can be found here.

Click on the MyMapInfo link or search for “locksmith nyc” in Google and you’ll see what I mean.  Maybe you spammers out there might learn something from this guy.

I particularly liked the above image from their website.  Don’t you hate it when scantily-clad attractive women get locked out of their apartment?

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37 Response Comments

  • Will Scott  April 29, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    I particularly hate it when scantily clad attractive women are locked out of MY apartment.

    (just kidding honey)

  • Stever  April 30, 2009 at 12:21 am

    For that Artie’s Benji-Moore listings check the uploaded videos. All from Youtube, all submitted by the business owner, but click the vids to see them in Youtube proper and they are coming from multiple user accounts at YT.

    Now, if the lock smith was the scantily clad attractive lady I could certainly see the justification for so many locksmiths in one city. Guy’s would be loosing keys left and right.

  • David Mihm  April 30, 2009 at 7:33 am

    Stever, you beat me to it but I’ll take a slightly different tack. If that’s the typical locksmith client in New York, I might give up this whole SEO thing and get into locksmithery myself…

    I am curious as to why the guy would even comment on Will’s blog…does he think he’s going to get clients who click through and see it?

  • Will Scott  April 30, 2009 at 7:57 am


    It’s like the search engine marketing solicitations and spam comments we all get. I’ve had 100 from one search marketer in the last 10 days with things like “I’ve heard positive things about [link here], what do you think?”.

    I think the people executing are too single-minded, they look for ranking then submit without thinking about the nature of the site.

    My favorite are the “Link Builders” with their “We notice you’re on page 6 for ‘new orleans plastic surgeon’.

    I would suggest it’s a challenge of either not thinking, not adequately managing your offshore link-builders or being a total dumb-ass.


  • Chris Chong  April 30, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    There are a lot of locks in NYC, maybe I’m over looking a good niche market… and hey, if you meet clients like locked-out-lindsy it might be a good way to make money and meet girls.

  • Alex  May 14, 2009 at 10:15 am

    I don’t know what’s so weird about this. I love talking about locksmiths. I spend no less than 15 hours a day on locksmith message boards arguing about who the best is. Then I head over to my locksmith blog and make some posts about locksmiths to keep my subscribers happy. After that I go to sleep and dream about keys and the men making them.

  • Andrew Shotland  May 14, 2009 at 10:23 am

    This is what is so great about the Web Alex. You can easily meet people who share the same crazy fetishes as yourself. Nothing makes me sleep better than a good surface-mounted deadbolt under my pillow.

  • Robert V  July 21, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    As the owner of a small, legitimate, Phoenix locksmith company, I ran a google maps report and was shocked to see that there were over 13,000 “local” locksmith listings for Phoenix. That’s about about 1 locksmith listing for every 100 homes.

    It’s a bit crazy to me that with all the attention the fraud gets that people still rely on the “local” maps sections of Google, Yahoo and Bing. For more information on internet locksmith fraud, you can visit the Knowledge Center of our website.

  • Marty  September 10, 2009 at 9:33 am

    I have a question. Do janitors/maintenance men just roam around with master keys to everything? Is there a way to hold them accountable. This is a serious question. I have an ongoing issue with this right now. Thank you.

  • Alex  November 2, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    It is so frustrating to be an honest locksmith in phoenix!

    There are 13000 listings in Phoenix!! Most are spam and carry complaints on top of complaints from ripped off customers, but the listings still appear on Google top results!!

    I am shocked how those companies, even though obviously displeasing hundreds of customers still appear on Google’s map results!

    Something is wrong!


  • johndavid  November 12, 2009 at 8:06 am

    Yellow Taxi Advertising offers to advertise your business in Yellow Taxi PMIs with 30sec video clips in 1200 yellow taxis in NYC to drive customers to your door steps. Yellow taxi best suits for small and medium sized businesses. 70% of the cab riders are young and educated. Average of every fourth ride your advertisement is shown on Yellow Taxi.

  • Alex, locksmith in phoenix  December 10, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    Hello Andrew,
    Could you please remove my comment posted on this page thank you

  • Will Scott  December 15, 2009 at 7:39 am

    So, funny story – I subscribed to comments on this post and what that means is I get to see when spammers hit us both — “Sacramento Locksmiths” seems to have hired a moron to do their link building.

    God bless the nofollow tag 😀

  • David Mihm  December 15, 2009 at 7:44 am

    I love talking about locksmiths as much as the next guy does but I have a feeling Andrew is going to filter that comment when he wakes up this morning 😀

  • Will Scott  December 15, 2009 at 7:45 am


    I left it and just changed the link 😀

  • David Mihm  December 15, 2009 at 7:53 am

    Awww, I was hoping you had changed the anchor text to something like “scum of the earth” rather than the destination URL 🙂

  • Andrew Shotland  December 16, 2009 at 9:33 am

    Per this blog’s terms of service: “Comments may be adjusted to reflect the true nature of the commenter”

  • David Mihm  December 16, 2009 at 9:39 am

    Nice one Andrew. I wonder how fast his site will rank for “Sacramento douchebag” — disappointingly, Google does not show a 7-pack for that phrase.

  • Andrew Shotland  December 16, 2009 at 10:25 am

    Strange because if you think about it all douchebags are local.

  • Gordon  December 24, 2009 at 5:33 am

    Great post!
    I love Mike Blumenthal’s blog. He should get a Pulitzer, I agree. In fact, if I were google, I’d hire him long ago to work with them on their lbc algorithm.
    I read his “locksmith” posts a while ago, I don’t know whether I should cry or laugh at the atrocities that go on in there.
    The maps results have been spammers heaven, pretty much from the first day google launched the application. Whenever google made any changes to the maps, it was only to make more room for more spamming and scamming. Andrew, in his initial post speaks of 84 Arties reviewers (all are delighted with the locksmith services they got). By the way, that how you know all these reviews are fake – I don’t think there is anyone that likes these sort of services providers. of course many are fine and legit – but come on, when your lock is broken, and you’re stressed, and on top of that have to pay expensively for a new lock – does that make so happy, you’ll log into your google account and sing out the locksmith’s praise?

    I know seo is tough, specifically in some highly competitive types of business. I really think google is the one responsible for all that incredible spam. It’s been proven (search for “locksmith new york” in google to see…) that G. maps is accommodating spam, still I guess you can get cheap work from who knows what country. have them create thousands of users, have these users sing your praise on the maps – and lo and behold, you’re No. 1 for any related search.

  • Alejandra  February 22, 2010 at 5:11 am

    Well new york locksmith is one of the biggest security provider for the physical locations .

  • Damien  February 23, 2010 at 11:12 am

    NO company in the industry charging $25/ $29 for the service,( run-local locksmith and his friends). if you know what I mean). of course not ! emergency locksmith and not leads are charging what they want,only ! and its a lot.however there are some new websites like http://emergencylocksmithleads.com that pre-screened, qualified and highly skilled locksmiths sent to the customers and the customer get a decent price for the job, and not $200 to open a freaking car !!!

  • thatmia  March 2, 2010 at 11:41 am

    Please don’t recommend Artie’s locksmith services. I just got ripped off by a nighttime operator of their’s (they are also known as Aaron Hotz locksmiths).

  • Christian  March 18, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    This is taking place nationwide with a company locate in NY.
    Search the domain therestorationresource.com and you’ll find nothing but flower stores, gas stations, and locksmith stores. They are snatching up the mao to sell the customers to the local contractors across the nation. Have reported them to google, but nothing ever happened even though they are fake.

  • Orit  June 18, 2010 at 1:37 am

    The complaint alleges that telephone dispatchers for Dependable Locks were instructed by managers to quote a price of $54 for a car lockout, while the responding technician was instructed by managers to charge up to $179 once services had been provided.

  • Mark Wallstead  December 19, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    I got hit with a huge price from the Locksmiths here in NYC. I walk home to my apartment only to find 6 different company flyer’s under our door each day.

  • Do Not Hire This Guy  February 27, 2011 at 6:19 am

    This is what is so great about the Web Alex. You can easily meet people who share the same crazy fetishes as yourself.

  • Andrew Shotland  February 27, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Best comment spam of the week. You can stay.

  • Metro Locks  April 11, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    Google definitely cracked down on a lot of the fake map locations. But now the spammer locksmiths are writing fake reviews and its really hard to compete as an honest locksmith. Google now gives a lot more weight to the number of reviews(with the new Google Places algo). At the same time google is not bothering to check that many of the reviews come from the same user.

  • Andrew Shotland  April 11, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    Thanks for the comment but no thanks for the spammy profile name. How did I go all these years without rewriting comment spam profile names? #doh!

  • moran  August 29, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    10 Tips for Home Security

    This Blog created by Charlotte Locksmith our business information : 704-951-4445

    1. Make your glass-patio doors burglar proof. you can do this by setting a metal bar in the middle bottom track of the door slide. Make sure the pipe is the same length as the track of the door.

    2. Make sure you have a safe in your home where you can store your cash, jewelry and any other valuable items.

    3. Make sure that all doors leading into your house have locks on the. For example, a deadbolt or jimmy proof lock.
    Their are other more advanced locks such as the multi-lock and medico lock. They’re pick proof and drill proof.

    4. If you lose your keys you must immediately switch the locks and keys to your house!

    5. Do NOT leave your lights off when you go out. When you leave your lights off it is a nice sign for burglars. keep some lights on!

    6. Get a dog. When burglars here a dog barking they immediately flee the scene because they do not want any attention drawn to them.

    7. Have an alarm system installed. This help BIG time. If someone tries to break into your house they will immediately flee when the alarm goes off.

    8. Cover up your garage windows so a burglar wont know if your car is there or not.

    9. Replace any rotting doors because it is easy to ply through rotting doors.

    10. Do NOT leave any spare keys in the mailbox or under the doormat. Instead bury a key in tinfoil in the dirt or behind a bush.

  • mike  August 29, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    ere are a variety of locksmith with installation and get working again of lock replacing missing keys otherwise making replacement of existing ones, given that your family and security with the kind of security instruments to facilitate join all your rations, aiding you hip emergency situations wherever you need to dismantle otherwise break down locks into order to put on access to your family otherwise car and furthermore in favor of installing safes.

  • Charlotte  June 8, 2012 at 9:42 am

    Review of Aaron-Hotz Locksmiths/dba/Artie’s

    Staying alone last week in a friend’s NYC apartment (I live in New Mexico and was on holiday) with a broken lock and a doorknob that fell off so I couldn’t pull the apartment door closed, I called Aaron-Hotz at a nearby address listed in Verizon phonebook. Was charged $680 to re-attach a doorknob and for a new lock that’s available at retailers for about $25. I have complained to the NYC Consumer Affairs Dept. and Better Business Bureau. The lock the tech installed came loose and only on his 4th visit (no charge for the extra visits!) was the lock properly installed. This involved 4 days of phone calls and aggravation.

  • John Magee  February 24, 2015 at 3:19 am

    I hate locksmith spammers. I am a locksmith and they try to take over our industry. They are mostly from Israel! Not even from the USA!! Not that I am in Usa either. I am in Brisbane Australia. But we have a close bond with the USA! You’s are like brothers!!! 🙂

  • Don  February 25, 2015 at 8:03 am

    They are like mushrooms. Google cuts them down and they keep popping up.