How to Protect Your Google Business Listing from Malicious Tampering

  • By Jackie Petre
  • 28 Sep, 2016

Map Hackers!

The Local Search Ecosystem

In a recent article on Wired.com, a local business owner complains that the malicious placement of bad information on his Google+Local (G+L) business listing caused his restaurant to fail. An anonymous Google Maps editor had changed the listed business hours from "open" to "closed" on for Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays. Business dropped off steadily for months, until the owner was forced to close its doors.

While there may have been other reasons the business closed, the complaint highlights a trend in modern life: searchers (most relevantly, prospective customers) immediately trust the information given to them by the search engine. For business owners, this means that keeping the most visible business information up-to-date -- the G+L listing in particular -- is a high priority.  Remember, Google's aim is to replace hardcopy YellowPages-style directories completely and become the end-all be-all knowledge base, and they're doing a pretty good job -- from both user-trust and richness-of-information perspectives.

Think about it: If a G+L listing links to a defunct website, the searcher will probably find another listing that's attached to a website with the information they're looking for. If a walk-in lead drives the half-hour out to your business's old (but still listed) location, only to find an empty building... There's a good chance they're going to drive to someone else's business. The searcher trusts what Google gives them, and if it give them bad information they blame the business instead of Google.

Unfortunately for business owners (and maybe fortunately for Google and search marketing providers!), the local "ecosystem" is anything but static; updating the business information isn't a "once and done" task. Data aggregators like Acxiom and InfoGroup feed business listing information to 1st tier directories, and those directories feed it to lower-tier directories. Google, in turn, harvests this information many sources, and algorithmically decides what the most accurate information is, based on this input.

Claim and update your G+L listing. Check it at least once-per-month to verify the business information hasn't been helpfully "updated" by Google, or tampered with by malicious editors. And while you're there, it wouldn't hurt to post a quick friendly message to greet any prospective customers that find their way to the listing...

A skilled local citation builder knows where to put his attention to mitigate this effect, to keep disinformation from getting out into the system. Consistent monitoring of the directories that people actually use is vital in an age of trusted instant information and plenty of negative SEO tricks and techniques (like ones mentioned in the article) to defend against.

The Science Behind Digital Marketing

By Jackie Petre 17 Nov, 2017

If you’ve ever read content on the Internet—a blog, product pages on Amazon, instructions on how to tie a tie—you know that visuals are essential to keeping you on the page.

So as the manager of your website, you realize just how important images are to keeping your visitors engaged and interested in what you have to offer. For product- or service-based businesses in particular, quality images can be the difference in total success or total failure of your site.

But did you know that images can do a lot more for your webpage than just supplement your content?

That’s right. Your images, just like your content, can be optimized for SEO benefits, making them more search-engine friendly. Optimizing your images for SEO benefits will give your page an added boost by including more keywords and giving Google more content to rank in searches.

By Jackie Petre 10 Nov, 2017

Getting customers to leave you reviews is one of the most important marketing strategies you can use. You know it. We know it. Let’s move forward.

Many businesses have reviews all over the Internet, from Yelp to Facebook and everything in between. But what’s the point of having an abundance of solid reviews if potential customers aren’t seeing them at the right time—when they’re on your site looking at your services? We fully believe that all business owners should display their reviews on their website in a way that proves your reviews are legitimate.

Our solution: an online review presenter.

By Jackie Petre 01 Nov, 2017

The digital world is constantly changing. Every day, programs are updated, trends shift and Google edits its algorithms. With so many frequent changes, anyone who wants to maintain a successful online presence—like all digital marketers—has to keep up with the trends. Even the experts have to stay on top of their game if they don’t want to fall behind.

Several months ago, we published an article that explained why it’s crucial that your website is optimized for ‘near me’ searches. For example, instead of searching for “flower shop Cleveland, Ohio,” more searchers were replacing the location name with “flower shop near me.” It provided more accurate results based on the user’s physical location, rather than the broad location.

By Jackie Petre 27 Oct, 2017

A lot of people fixate on being the number one result on Google. It’s easy to understand why; those number one results are often the first links we click on when doing a search. After all, Google puts those results at the top of the page for a reason, right?

Many times, Internet marketing performance is solely judged by rankings and how high you can get on Google. But contrary to belief, this is not the best way to measure your return on investment. There are other metrics that will tell you way more about the success of your campaign’s performance than just the average position.

By Jackie Petre 18 Oct, 2017

We’ve discussed how important it is to have reviews of your business on your website, and you know that reviews can have a positive effect on your business. But the more difficult part is figuring out how to get clients to leave reviews in the first place. Where do you start? How do you get people to only leave positive reviews? It might seem like a tricky business—and we’ll admit, there is a formula to it—but getting clients to write reviews isn’t as hard as it sounds.

Here are five easy steps you can follow to motivate your clients to leave a review of your business.

By Jackie Petre 02 Oct, 2017

When making any important decision, it’s important to weigh your options. In the case of creating a new website, the advantages that come with each option can be a major determinant in which website platform you decide to go with. In our two recent blogs detailing the Locallogy Rapid Platform , we’ve covered what exactly the service is and the functional features that you have access to as a user. Now, we want to tell you about the advantages to using our website platform.

In addition to having a cost-effective, customized website built by our team of professionals, you’ll experience a number of management advantages that help your website run faster, safer and smarter.
By Jackie Petre 02 Oct, 2017

We recently unveiled the Locallogy Rapid Platform , our newest web building service that allows you to have a cost-effective website created for you by our team of digital marketing experts. It’s the best way for your small business to quickly get a customized website without paying top dollar to have your site maintained by the professionals who are creating your site.

So how do we offer such a quality service for a low monthly price? We’ve built in a variety of great features that let you directly manage your website so you can quickly and easily make edits without crashing your own website.

Once your website is up and running, there are a number of helpful features that make editing and using your site easier on both the backend (what you can edit) and frontend (what visitors will see). From choosing your own color scheme to previewing capabilities, these features work together to create a flawless user experience.

These features all boil down to three specific functions that are crucial for any website platform: customization, usability and responsiveness .

By Jackie Petre 02 Oct, 2017

When it comes to building a website for your business, you typically have two options: invest in a high-end, custom-built website made by digital marketing experts, or go with the cheaper option by using a content management system like WordPress or Wix to personally manage your site on a template platform.

For some businesses, a website fully designed from scratch is the best option. It gives the business owner the ability to customize every last detail, down to the coding on each page. For others who don’t need a complex site, a simple CMS that allows content to be easily managed will suffice. But for many businesses, neither of these options are exactly what their looking for, which is something in the middle. Something that allows for a customized website built by professionals at a fraction of the cost of a full website design.

Something like the Locallogy Rapid Platform.

By Jackie Petre 26 Sep, 2017

Video content is taking over the Internet. Several years ago, the place you were most likely to find this kind of content was YouTube, where you could look up any kind of funny, instructional or music video imaginable. Today, you can find Internet videos everywhere you look: Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and news network websites. And according to data, it’s a trend that’s not going away.

In a recent visual networking report done by Cisco , it is estimated that global “video traffic will be 82 percent of all consumer Internet traffic by 2021, up from 73 percent in 2016.” So it’s no surprise that businesses have been jumping on board in an effort to keep their audiences’ attention and create content that has more share potential.

Incorporating videos onto your site might seem like something that doesn’t apply to a service-based business like yours. But visuals are a pretty powerful tool when it comes to getting (and keeping) the attention of your customers. Yes, images are crucial to a successful business website, but customized videos are a more engaging way to showcase your products or services. In fact, it’s something we use as a marketing tool for our customers.

By Jackie Petre 21 Sep, 2017

We’re all familiar with the concept of saving the best for last. But when it comes to the content on your website, your approach should be the exact opposite. You may not realize it, but the order of your content often determines the rate of conversion your website sees. This concept is known as content hierarchy. Whether you’re a business owner who is creating services pages on your website or you’re just running a personal blog on the Internet, content hierarchy is something that affects the success rate of your web page.

Let’s start at the beginning.

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