Several recent researches by and others have reported that the number of business listings on the Google Maps are not 100% authentic and are filled with various fake ones.
The research by Wall Street Journal has specifically presented that approximately 11 million of listings on Google Maps are fake; whereas, Google, through an academic study conducted in 2017 has reported that only 0.5% of the listings are fake.
The research by the WSJ is based on local experiments, which further increased the reliability on their research. 13 of the top 20 Google searches for plumbers in New York were found to be fake with false addresses.
Mostly, the businesses on Google that are used in emergencies such as car towing, contractors, and repairmen are listed under the title of “duress verticals”. Since these businesses are continuously required; therefore, their credibility is checked very few times.
Although Google verifies the businesses through mail, phone numbers and other options but still the scammers can easily dodge them. These fake listings on the Google Maps serve as a nightmare for the real businesses; whereas, the Google and scammers happily enjoy the profits.
Since the research by Wall Street Journal, the Google advocates have started to talk regarding new defenses being added on Google to prevent scammers from fake listing.
Google has recently announced that it is providing (GMB). With the help of GMB, the businesses can customize their profiles. Plus, they can set cover photos, claim short URLs, and much more.
Google is continuously trying to turn into a Yelp competitor; however, they need to work on their fake listing problem first. To this criticism, Google has responded that they are working on identifying fake listings to prevent people from frauds.