If you have a home service company, you know that fake business listings and spam clutter Google rankings. This pushes your legitimate business down in Google rankings and keeps customers from finding your services. More than just the home service industry in general, though, garage door services seem to be a primary target for spam listings. This is especially an issue near major cities like Atlanta. In fact, thousands of fake listings for garage door installation and repair pop up all over the country every year.
This constant outcropping of spam business listings is compromising not only local business rankings but also undermining the trustworthiness of Google My Business. After all, GMB delivers the first impression of your company’s website based on where they place you in relation to other local companies. If spam businesses are not properly vetted and thus given better rankings than real garage door companies, scammed customers are suffering.
However, change might be on the horizon! As of June 8th, Google’s Danny Sullivan announced that Google has started looking into reports of Google My Business accounts for fake garage door companies (View the tweet here). Although we don’t know exactly what this means, we hope that Google is developing some sort of filtering algorithm to catch fake business listings. At the very least, we can assume that those spammy garage door company GMB’s will be pushed below legitimate garage door dealers.
What Can You Do?
Although the news that Google is beginning to take these spam listings more seriously is great, it still leaves a question. What do we do in the meantime? How can we continue to fight local spam to help our own home service companies succeed in Google rankings? We suggest the tried and true, albeit time-consuming, process of personally reporting spam. Below, we’ll walk you through the steps of finding and reporting these fake listings.
Guide to Removing Spam
Step 1: Google “Garage Door Repair [Name of Local City].”
Step 2: Look for company names you don’t recognize (Examples: ‘Garage Door Repair (of) [city]’ or ‘[city] Garage Door Repair’)
Step 3: Call the listed number using *67 or a phone number not traced back to you (You don’t want them to have your cell or company phone number).
Step 4: Identify whether or not it’s a legit business (Try searching your state government’s website for the business’ name. Also, check the physical location to confirm there isn’t a garage door company there).
Step 5: If the listing seems suspect, use this redressal form to report the listing to Google [https://support.google.com/business/contact/business_redressal_form].
Step 6: Repeat!
With Google finally beginning to address the issues with spam business listings, we can all agree to some tentative hope. But until we begin to see some real progress or hear a plan of action, we as business owners have to continue to do our part to report spam to Google. Read our press release on the situation and stay tuned for updates!