On February 20, Google posted hot it is continuing to build up Maps with community content. According to the company, the myriad contributions made its over 120 million Local Guides. Google also spoke up about spam, which the company said is representing less than 1% of the 20 million daily contributions it receives on Maps.
Google, in order to combat listings spam, policy-violating images and fake reviews, uses “a combination of people and technology.” The company also said that its learning models” watch out for specific words and phrases” and various content patterns, which will help in detecting suspicious content.
Although Google claims that it is constantly working to fight spam, many in the local SEO community feel that Google’s pursuit on spam and fake content is quite inconsistent. Many local SEOs feels that Google tolerates “dangerous” levels of spam in a number of sensitive categories, including healthcare.
In their defense, Google is disputing these claims, citing internal data to argue that it’s diligently fighting local spam. In 2019, Google says it:
- Removed more than 75 million policy-violating reviews and 4 million fake business profiles.
- Took down more than 580,000 reviews and 258,000 business profiles that were reported directly.
- Reviewed and removed more than 10 million photos and 3 million videos that violated content policies.
- Disabled more than 475,000 user accounts.