Video Transcription: Google My Business Plumbing Spam
Now, most plumbers are set up correctly, like this one from Ross Wilkins.
It’s got a header, it’s linked correctly to the website, and it just has the business name in the title.
However, there are some around that look like this.
• They have the plumber’s name, location, and services provided all in the business title section.
• And in fact, their service area is listed in the address space as opposed to just the address.
• And in these cases, they’re also linking to the pink pages and the pink pages listing.
Why Are Plumbers Spamming GMB?
I wondered why plumbers were doing this?
There are, in fact, several problems with doing this, in particular with linking to the Pink Pages, which content is not a very sensible idea.
- Firstly, it doesn’t help the plumber get their website or their three-pack listing for their business to show up in Google’s listing. That’s because it’s spammy. Google recognises that and doesn’t push to the top of the 3-pack.
- Second, it probably helps the rankings of the Pink Pages listing themselves, which makes me think it’s perhaps the Pink pages salespeople doing this. They get some money off the business and improve the ranking of the Pink pages.
- Third, from a user point of view, it’s not very sensible. Even if they found the listing, they then click on the link and go to the Pink pages listing and then they have to click on the link to go to the actual business website to find out more information about the business. It’s not a good user process. So you can guarantee that Google won’t like it.
- And last, because it looks like you’re reviewing the Pink pages. It will stop people from leaving reviews for the plumbing business.
Creating spammy listings affects your ranking, and that affects your sales, your lead flow and everything else as a result of it. It’s not a sensible thing to do in the first place.
Let’s have a quick look at rankings. (Not statistically valid – but does show the issue)
- This listing is for Plumb It Up. They are supposed to be servicing Five Dock, but they don’t show on the listings.
- This is Canva Hot Water. They service Campbeltown, and they don’t show up on the page in the 3-pack.
- This is Langham Plumbers. They service Canada Bay their listing does not show up either.
So there’s some indication that a spammy listing does not work – as well as looking bad.
Also, the Pink pages seem to be setting these listings up in contravention of Google’s My Business listing policies.
- They are putting location and services provided in the business name.
- They are putting the service area in the address area as well.
Both of those things are not what should be done.
- The business name should be just that. It should reflect the business’s real-world name as it is on the website and everything else in the location.
- For address, you either put in the location address, or you don’t put the address, and you type in the service area and not a bunch of suburbs.
Now, what’s the problem with that?
Well, Google has said they reserve the right to suspend access to Google My Business for individuals and businesses that violate the terms.
- Most likely they won’t do that because they seem to be tolerating Google My Business spam right now.
- Mostly they just let others fix it.
So you or I can go into these and fix it, and the spam elements will get removed.
This listing is how you should set yours up. I’m going back to the Ross Wilkins example:
- Business Name: Wilkins Plumbing
- The correct website, not the Pink pages.
- The service area added correctly.
So this listing will more likely rank on Google for parts of the service area.
You can also fix these in your area if you want to. It will give your business listing an advantage because it will cause the spam ones to be altered or removed.
This listing is another example of business name plumbing with Drainage, Gasfitting and Plumber incorrectly in the name area. You can just go to the suggested it, and you make the necessary changes just to show their business name.
Google will approve that change in minutes, and it will be live on the business listing in the next few days.
Where there’s explicit spam, there’s another way to deal with that. Spam, for example, could be people making fake listings or using home addresses or addresses of shared offices or making multiple listings for their business.
You can do something about that too. Just search for the Google My Business Redressal Form, and you can punch the information into that and get rid of it as well.
Google My Business is vital for Plumbers. It helps you collect reviews. It enables you to show up when people are looking for plumbers in your area. And it’s just a handy piece of Google property that you don’t want to let others control.
You want to make sure you stay within Google’s requirements and don’t have someone else bugger it up for you.
And if that’s your thing, you can improve your position by either removing spam from listing or reporting it and getting it fixed as part of your process of growing your own business.
Sadly thanks to Google’s inaction in this front, spam-fighting is a normal part of local SEO these days.