Digital Insights

Google Updates Maps Reviews To Improve Spam Detection


Published: February 7, 2013

As the undisputed market leader in search engine technology, Google is constantly updating its algorithms in response to remain the most accurate search hub on the Internet. Although many of its efforts cause a great deal of complaints, no one can say that they are not aggressive in nature.

In 2011, Google promised through its blog to focus a great deal on the filtering of spam within its system. Although the Panda and Penguin updates were the most talked about reformations within the system, there were many initiatives that went under the radar that are now beginning to have a large effect on the types of content that Google allows on its ever-expanding network.

One of the more important updates to eliminate spam came on the Google Maps platform. In response to many complaints of spammy reviews that attempted to bolster or defame certain businesses within the Google Maps system, Google unleashed an algorithm change to improve spam detection.

The overall result was lambasted by many critics as are many initial algorithm changes that Google implements. Many reviews were deleted from the system that were obviously not spam; however, most of those reviews were replaced in subsequent revisions of the algorithm change.

If one is to believe the reasoning behind the blogs that Google puts out, the Maps algorithm changes are meant to deter business competitors from trying to draw business their way or destroy a competitor by placing false reviews under a Google Maps listing. This technique is often overused by many perpetrators because the Google Maps and the Google plus system lag far behind the rest of the Google network when it comes to filtering spam. Google has stated that it plans to improve its social networking to the point where spammy reviews will no longer appear in search engine results and businesses can list themselves within the Google Map system without having to worry about hiring an outside reputation management firm to keep false reviews away from their listing.

The Google Maps update is far from perfect much like the rest; in fact even Google recognizes this in their most recent blog posts on the subject. However, the company is dedicated to continuing the initiative in the name of improving the overall review listings on the Google Maps network. This means that all businesses should take note of the changes that are being made and make changes to their reviews within the Google Maps system accordingly. As with most algorithm changes that are relatively new, Google is much more open to receiving comments and suggestions than it would be after it feels that it has improved the service to a point that serves its core audience. The moral of the story: Get complaints in now before Google closes its doors to suggestions on the new algorithm change.


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