Google is working to reduce the number of fake accounts on Google My Business. Fraud and spam are a problem that needs to be addressed so Google has introduced a complaint form that will hopefully work to tackle the problem.
The Business Redressal Complaint Form found here, makes it easier for users of Google to report fraudulent activities on Google Maps. The new feature was announced by Google My Business Community Manager, Marissa Nordahl. The form is simple to fill in, asking for information such as:
- The public URL for the location on Google Maps
- The content that you consider to be fraudulent (in a drop-down menu)
- Space to explain why you think the content is malicious
At the end of the form, there is a note stating that the complaint won’t be processed if the form isn’t filled out correctly or if it isn’t complete. Take the time to make sure everything is correct and include the exact content on the URL that you consider to be false within the space you’re provided.
Once the form is sent, you’ll receive notification that it has been submitted. As you’re reporting on listings you don’t own you will not receive an update. You can check to see if action was taken by visiting the URL in a few weeks after your report was received.
Claim Your Google My Business Listing
Google is known to have problems with spam and malicious content, and this is even true in Google Maps and the local search results. The common problem experienced is when bad actors or even competitors turning to the listings to add or change the information that is shown to the public. Such problems include changing opening hours, contact information, descriptions and so on. Obviously, businesses can be damaged by such activities.
Remember to claim your Google My Business listing and keep an eye on the content that is there. Creating your listing and forgetting about it could result in lost business and even a damaged reputation.