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Archive for June 21st, 2019



How we fight fake business profiles on Google Maps

by Maps on Jun.21, 2019, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

Google Maps helps people explore, navigate and get things done—and increasingly people are using Google Maps to find local businesses. Over the years, we’ve added more than 200 million places to Google Maps and every month we connect people to businesses more than nine billion times, including more than one billion phone calls and three billion requests for directions. 


To help people find the places and businesses they're looking for—both big and small—Local Guides, business owners and people using Maps every day can contribute to business information. We get millions of contributions each day (like new business profiles, reviews, star ratings, and more) and the vast majority of these contributions are helpful and accurate. But occasionally, business scammers take advantage of local listings to make a profit. They do things like charge business owners for services that are actually free, defraud customers by posing as real businesses, and impersonate real businesses to secure leads and then sell them. Even though fake business profiles are a small percentage of the overall business profiles on Google, local business scammers have been a thorn in the internet’s side for over a decade. They even existed back when business listings were printed, bound and delivered to your doorstep. We take these issues very seriously and have been using a wide array of techniques and approaches to limit abuse on our platforms. 


These scammers use a wide range of deceptive techniques to try to game our system—as we shut them down, they change their techniques, and the cycle continues. Although it’s important that we make it easy for legitimate businesses to get their business profiles on Google, we’ve also implemented strict policies and created tools that enable people to flag these issues so we can take action. It’s a constant balancing act and we’re continually working on new and better ways to fight these scams using a variety of ever-evolving manual and automated systems. But we can’t share too many details about these efforts without running the risk of actually helping scammers find new ways to beat our systems—which defeats the purpose of all the work we do. 


We understand the concerns of those people and businesses impacted by local business scammers and back in 2017 we announced the progress we’d made. There was still work to be done then and there’s still work to be done now. We have an entire team dedicated to addressing these issues and taking constant action to remove profiles that violate our policies. Here’s more information about the progress we made against this type of abuse last year:  

  • We took down more than 3 million fake business profiles––and more than 90 percent of those business profiles were removed before a user could even see the profile. 

  • Our internal systems were responsible for more than 85 percent of these removals. 

  • More than 250,000 of the fake business profiles we removed were reported to us by users. 

  • We disabled more than 150,000 user accounts that were found to be abusive – a 50 percent increase from 2017. 

This year, we’ve already introduced a new way to report suspicious business profiles and have started to apply refined techniques to business categories where we’re seeing an increase in fraud attempts. To help foster a healthy ecosystem, we’re also donating settlement funds from litigation against bad actors to organizations that educate businesses and consumers about fraud. As we continue to fight against fraud, we’re making sure people people can flag issues when they see them. Here’s how: 

Every month Maps is used by more than a billion people around the world, and every day we and our users work as a community to improve the map for each other. We know that a small minority will continue trying to scam others, so there will always be work to do and we’re committed to keep doing better. 


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Helping businesses capture their identity with Google My Business

by Maps on Jun.21, 2019, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

Since launching Google My Business five years ago, we’ve helped more than 150 million local businesses connect with people who are looking for them online. Today, when people search for businesses, they’re on the hunt for something more specific--like “late night restaurants near Washington Square Park” or “rooftop happy hour with great cocktails.” And they’re  looking to get more things done--whether that’s booking, a reservation, or asking what products a store offers. 

We’ve evolved Google My Business to better meet these needs--from redesigned, easier-to-use mobile apps to making restaurant reservations directly from Google. Today, we’re rolling out more features to help businesses make their Profiles as unique as they are and as descriptive as the queries that get customers there.  

  • Attract people with welcome offers: Did someone say deal? We’ve found that more than half of online customers are looking for an offer or discount.  Starting today, businesses can reward customers who follow their business on Google with welcome offers , turning happy first time customers into loyal, repeat ones.

Welcome Offers

You can receive a Welcome Offer by following some of your favorite businesses on Maps

  • Find businesses quicker with short names and URLs:Business owners can now claim a short name and URL for their business. With this URL, businesses can easily refer customers back to their Profile - to catch up on latest updates, to make a booking or to write a review after a visit. In the coming months, people will also be able to search short names in Maps.  

  • Show personality with cover photos: Businesses can easily set their preferred profile cover photo, putting their best foot forward.

  • Identify companies with more prominent logos:Businesses have an additional branding opportunity with the logo feature. Those that have completed their core information (phone number, hours, etc) will have their logo displayed at the top right-hand side of their profile.

  • Get visual with photo displays:Photos uploaded by a business will appear instantly and prominently on a new dynamic module on the Profile. Photo captions, which are coming, will let businesses tell the stories behind the pictures. 

  • Create offline materials:We’re also launching a website where businesses can easily download and order custom assets for their place--like stickers--to help promote bookings on the profile, adding reviews and customer following.

Busiiness Profile

The new features can help a Business Profile be as descriptive as possible.

Finally, we want to recognize those businesses that consistently deliver a great experience for people. We’ll be highlighting the top five percent of businesses in a particular category with the “Local Favorite” designation. To help people easily find and engage with these businesses, we’re also creating digital and physical badges of honors. Stay tuned for more details on these recognition categories coming later this summer.

More descriptive profiles not only help consumers quickly find the business that best suits their needs, but also help businesses stand out and express what is unique about them. We’re excited to keep improving Maps and Search for everyone, and help businesses succeed on Google. 

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