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Google Locking Locksmith Spammers Out Of Maps

Lock
This is huge news! Our client, Glenn Younger of Grah Safe & Lock, has just reported to us that Google appears to at last be taking offensive action against the spammers that have so polluted the locksmith sector of Maps.
You may recall that we recently published an article about our website design and Local Search marketing efforts for Grah Safe & Lock. In that article, we detailed that the state of spam in Google’s local index for San Diego Locksmiths was so insurmountable that we had to proceed with this client as though Google didn’t exist. We focused on other indexes and sound on-page practices. Imagine our delight in learning the following from this much valued client:

Happy Day!
I may have missed it, but clearly a major chance happened in the last few days relating to map spam for locksmith. Although there had been some improvement, then that went away, as of 11-14-09 we have no map spam in the 7 pak, AND the organic listing for “Locksmiths San Diego” is mostly clean. After 2 years of total map spam, Grah Safe and Lock is listed on the 7 pak for most of our terms! And we are above the fold on our organic listing as well. Thanks must go out to you Miriam, the good work looks to be paying off. The local search stuff is working!
The Google trial on the sale of the 3 Local search listings is in effect in San Diego for “locksmith San Diego”, and the mapspam folks have all three of those spots now.
So they are not owning the 7pak, but they are still around.
Even in expanded map view 90% of the business listed are real, with real addresses. There are a few fraudulent address spammers among the expanded map view, but 90% are good, and have been for almost a week.
Yippee! Let’s hold out hope that Google has an Algo that works on locksmiths.

Clean 7-Pack

We are, indeed, holding out hope and holding our breath that this cleaned-up state of affairs continues in Maps. I haven’t had time yet to research whether spam has been reduced across the board or just in San Diego or some other limited geography. If anyone else has been keeping tabs on locksmith spam and has noticed a difference in the quality of the results, I’d love to hear about it.
Prior to this change, our client was almost impossible to find in Google Maps because of the spam overload. If Google continues to hold the fort against the bad guys, legitimate locksmiths may be able to stop pouring so much money into PPC just to make a showing in the results. It sounds like the local ads are still in trouble, but, at the very least, San Diego neighbors now have their first fighting chance to be connected to a real local locksmith via Google. When I consider the trouble and strife that has been associated with this vertical for so long, the clean 7-pack looks beautiful to my eyes.