Google Maps can certainly be a great resource for businesses, but there are some SEOs who abuse this feature, according to one SEO columnist, Joy Hawkins. According to Joy, there are more than problems with locksmiths placing what are essentially fake listings on Google Maps, lots of different businesses are doing it too, including SEO Firms! Ms. Hawkins was trying to investigate why, when she searched for SEO firms in Toronto, all of the results were actually for firms not based in Toronto. Sure, it is true that SEO isn’t necessarily a location based task, but, some people like the ability to go into someone’s office and meet with them.
The reason that all of these results for SEO firms outside of Toronto came up, was because these firms had actually put the word Toronto somewhere in their name, or at least a few places in the listing. Some of the firms listed with Toronto names were as far away as Calgary, in the province of Alberta! The truth is, that tactic is certainly a bit grey hat, and these spammy listings don’t follow Google’s guidelines for listing things on Google Maps. The company says that your name on Google Maps should reflect your business’s actual name. There shouldn’t be anything added onto it like descriptive phrases that tell people what your business does, because that goes in the description of your business.
The other thing that is bad about this, is that some businesses actually use fake addresses or use PO boxes to get local listings on Google Maps. This is also against the Google Maps terms of service, so don’t do it! Businesses are also not allowed to create multiple listings for same location of a business, which Joy found that many of these companies had done. So pay attention and follow the rules when it comes to Google Maps’ rules, because otherwise Joy might report your listing!
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