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GOOGLE MY BUSINESS

What is Google My Business Listings Hijacking?

Google My Business Listings Hijacking or GMB phishing is on the increase and while Google says it’s aware of the problem, business owners must be vigilant about this disturbing trend.

The problem of hijacked Google My Business listings (GMB) is where someone other than the business gains control of the local profile – appears to be growing. SterlingSky’s Joy Hawkins has reported on the trend and some of the methods used by spammers and scammers.

Unethical local marketers are effectively phishing, using the “claim this business” link in the local Knowledge Panel/Profile. That generates an email request for control over the listing, which is sent to the registered owner of the profile. There are many examples and complaints on the GMB forum.

GMB Hijacking. Unethical local marketers are effectively phishing, using the “claim this business” link in the local Knowledge Panel/Profile. That generates an email request for control over the listing, which is sent to the registered owner of the profile. There are many examples and complaints on the GMB forum.

The frequency of this tactic appears to be increasing. In one of the examples cited by Hawkins, a hijacked listing for a law firm was used to sell leads to other personal injury lawyers.

Asked about this phenomenon, a Google spokesperson told Search Engine Land, “We’re aware of this incident and are monitoring it closely and are continually working to keep the information on Maps safe and accurate. If a merchant ever receives a request to manage or to transfer ownership from an unknown person, they should decline the request. The rights to own or manage a Business Profile can only be granted if the verified merchant accepts the request or the requester proves their affiliation with the business.”

Read more here.

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