Pinning Down Abuse on Google Maps

research.google.com

Make sure you click through and read the full PDF. It’s interesting not for its conclusions (see below), but for the rare insight into how Google My Business works on the back-end. (In particular, the taxonomic logic behind Google’s category system.)

Spam In, Garbage Out – Why Google’s Recent Paper on Map Spam is Flawed

blumenthals.com

Mike shreds this “study’s” academic pretense and appropriately categorizes it as somewhere between cynical and deceptive PR. Google dramatically undercounted the number of fake listings and overstated its success in removing them.

Local SEO Spam Tactics Are Working: How You Can Fight Back

moz.com

In this timely piece published mere hours before Google’s “research study,” Casey Meraz makes abundantly clear that spam tactics in Google’s local results are earning higher rankings. In this post, he identifies exactly what spammers are doing to get ahead, what they can get away with, and what you can do to fight back against them.

Eye tracking in 2017 for Google hotel searches: Why the old rules don’t apply

www.traveltripper.com

This eye-tracking study from Travel Tripper should raise a few eyebrows — for local-intent hotel searches, users are looking at ads and Knowledge Panels and only settling on organic results if they find those unappealing.

The Coming Polarization of the SMB Software Market

streetfightmag.com

I’m incredibly happy to see VC’s increasingly shying away from the SMB software space. The world does not need any more Groupons, Yelps, or WebVisibles, with over-aggressive/predatory sales tactics and unsustainable business models.

The author’s discussion of AI vs DIFM also dovetails with my StreetFight discussion with Mike Blumenthal last week.