How to report website to Google that violates Google Places policy?

18 replies
I'm helping my nephew to rank his Google Places page on the first page.
He has a driving school in the Netherlands. When I was checking his competition I noticed that one Google Places listing is from a Lead-generation site. On further research it seemed this website has multiple GP=listings in various towns. All the listings are claimed with addresses of local driving schools and then customized for their website.

How can I report this site to Google? Cause this is a violation of their policy.
One less competitor for me on the first page, right? :p

Thx for any help you can give me.
#google #places #policy #report #violates #website
  • Profile picture of the author RedShifted
    I don't think there is a thing you can do about it. I mean there is something you can do, like report the listing, but google places is a nightmare to deal with.

    Let me repeat that: N-I-G-H-T-M-A-R-E

    The only thing you can really do, wouldn't be ethical, so I won't recommend it.
    I have been trying to get in contact with google over my google places for 6 months now, to make ONE CHANGE, and nothing has happened yet.

    I uploaded some videos (that I made myself) and my account went into "pending review" status. There is nothing wrong in the listing, I've posted on their help forum multiple times, but google places support simply doesn't exist. The "help" I always get on their forum, is a link to their guidelines, of which I've already practically memorized. When I upload pics of my account, nobody knows anything. You have to live in 1 of 4 major cities (san diego and 3 others) to call them, and if you don't, they never return your call (I've tried numerous times).

    We've done a ton of work on our site, seo, but our google places has always had problems. At one point we had duplicate listings, NONE of which I made, it took like 2 months just to get rid of them (even after deleting them from my account, they would come right back for some odd reason). Then one day I had to make an edit, that took like a month just to do.

    Then this latest "pending review" issue thats been going on for 6 months. I hate google places. Sorry for being so negative, but they suck.
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    • Originally Posted by RedShifted View Post

      Let me repeat that: N-I-G-H-T-M-A-R-E

      I have been trying to get in contact with google over my google places for 6 months now, to make ONE CHANGE, and nothing has happened yet.

      The "help" I always get on their forum, is a link to their guidelines, of which I've already practically memorized. When I upload pics of my account, nobody knows anything. You have to live in 1 of 4 major cities (san diego and 3 others) to call them, and if you don't, they never return your call (I've tried numerous times).
      Redshifted - there is support if you know how to get it.

      There is INSTANT phone support right in your Google My Business dashboard.


      You can't call the phone numbers you see on the web or their site - that is not how you get to support. You have to use the online form and they call you back right away!

      You'll get someone on the phone usually within 2 minutes and often they can fix problems right over the phone.

      Try this: https://support.google.com/business/...&topic=4539639

      Be sure to be signed into the account in question and Google will call you back.
      Click the call us button Monday - Friday, 6 AM - 5 PM PST
      (If you do it outside those hours the call us button does not work.)

      But it sounds like you've had violations. If you had more than one listing claimed in your dash then that's a major one that can cause problems.
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  • Profile picture of the author greenovni
    SNITCHING to knock down a competitor? I don't think that will work.
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    • Profile picture of the author Colm Whelan
      Originally Posted by greenovni View Post

      SNITCHING to knock down a competitor? I don't think that will work.
      Snitching? Seriously? What are you? Five?

      @ OP

      .Report them. It's a violation of TOS. There should be a level playing field for all of us. You can't expect the system to work if you don't use it.
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      • Profile picture of the author greenovni
        If I am not mistaken, in order to claim a physical address the owner receives a card from google via the post with a code to put in an online form to confirm the G places address.

        If that is the case, the company that "claimed" many different places for the other driving schools as the OP said must have had all of these cards received by the corresponding businesses, the codes put in on their places page etc.

        The OP also says that "On further research it seemed this website has multiple GP=listings in various towns. All the listings are claimed with addresses of local driving schools and then customized for their website."

        Notice "ALL the listings are claimed with addresses of local driving schools" (which is the same exact thing that the OP herself wants to do) to then customize it for her nephew's website.

        SO Yes, SNITCHING to then do the EXACT SAME THING instead of kicking butt on a level playing field....




        Originally Posted by Colm Whelan View Post

        Snitching? Seriously? What are you? Five?

        @ OP

        .Report them. It's a violation of TOS. There should be a level playing field for all of us. You can't expect the system to work if you don't use it.
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      • Profile picture of the author Boavida
        Originally Posted by Colm Whelan View Post

        Snitching? Seriously? What are you? Five?

        @ OP

        .Report them. It's a violation of TOS. There should be a level playing field for all of us. You can't expect the system to work if you don't use it.
        I'm planning on reporting them, but how can I do so?
        There's the feedback button on the Places page itself.
        Is this the way to report a violation or does this message go to the owner of the page?

        BTW I have called two of the companies, which GP-listings where claimed.
        They told me they had never heard of said website and never received any postcards. I'm thinking they search for unclaimed GP-listings (of companies without a website) then change the address to receive the postcard and then change it back to the correct city and address.
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        • Profile picture of the author umc
          I find that when I worry more about my business and less about the business of others, things go better for me and I'm more productive. There are lots of people that have ads on Craigslist that violate the TOS and they spam the site. I can still write one good ad and get business without wasting time worrying about the competition.
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          • Profile picture of the author Boavida
            Originally Posted by umc View Post

            I find that when I worry more about my business and less about the business of others, things go better for me and I'm more productive. There are lots of people that have ads on Craigslist that violate the TOS and they spam the site. I can still write one good ad and get business without wasting time worrying about the competition.
            I am worrying about my business. I want it on the first page of Google.
            There are seven GP-spots on there, which are reserved for local companies.
            I want to be one of them so I report the one that's not local and not a driving school in anyway.

            I think this is a GOOD rule from Google as 1 in 5 searches are local.
            People want to find local companies not lead-generation companies that are causing this local companies to raise their prices because of the money they have to pay this companies for leads while they are cheating the system.

            Listen I am focussing on my business. My plan doesn't change wether or not the listing gets removed. I just think it's a dirty trick.
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        • Profile picture of the author greenovni
          Originally Posted by Boavida View Post

          I'm planning on reporting them, but how can I do so?
          There's the feedback button on the Places page itself.
          Is this the way to report a violation or does this message go to the owner of the page?

          BTW I have called two of the companies, which GP-listings where claimed.
          They told me they had never heard of said website and never received any postcards. I'm thinking they search for unclaimed GP-listings (of companies without a website) then change the address to receive the postcard and then change it back to the correct city and address.

          That changes things from your original OP where it seemed like you competitor was actually working for those driving schools.

          With that being said, it sounds like your competitors are selling leads to the driving schools.

          I still don't get how they are able to claim the spots without receiving the postcard from google with the code.

          So I think that by reading this post, you might learn what to do about your dilema

          Google Implements Fail-Safe for Places Reporting Abuse - Search Engine Watch (#SEW)
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          • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
            Depending on when these listing where actually verified they could have used phone verification before Google switched to post card only.

            If what the OP said is true and the driving schools have no clue and aren't the actual business who verified then most likely the listings are against Google's TOS and as such they should be reported to make room for a legit listing to take it's place.

            Originally Posted by greenovni View Post

            That changes things from your original OP where it seemed like you competitor was actually working for those driving schools.

            With that being said, it sounds like your competitors are selling leads to the driving schools.

            I still don't get how they are able to claim the spots without receiving the postcard from google with the code.

            So I think that by reading this post, you might learn what to do about your dilema

            Google Implements Fail-Safe for Places Reporting Abuse - Search Engine Watch (#SEW)
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      • Profile picture of the author mikeb1
        Originally Posted by Colm Whelan View Post

        Snitching? Seriously? What are you? Five?

        @ OP

        .Report them. It's a violation of TOS. There should be a level playing field for all of us. You can't expect the system to work if you don't use it.
        colm that made me seriously laugh out loud "what are you? Five?
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      • Profile picture of the author Naim717
        Originally Posted by Colm Whelan View Post

        Snitching? Seriously? What are you? Five?

        @ OP

        .Report them. It's a violation of TOS. There should be a level playing field for all of us. You can't expect the system to work if you don't use it.
        Funniest thing I read all week!!! Five
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    • Profile picture of the author DABK
      It does. At least if you report with a real issue. I've done it. It took them 2 months to do anything, but they did.

      They took longer to accept changes I made to my own Google page. I guess, the same as Red Shifted's experience.


      Originally Posted by greenovni View Post

      SNITCHING to knock down a competitor? I don't think that will work.
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  • Profile picture of the author markjob
    I have seen that when you are claiming your listing you can choose either to have a postcard sent or use phone verification. Maybe this person is using the phone method to receive the code from google?
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  • Profile picture of the author OutSourCed
    Visit Google Map Maker and login with your gmail and password.

    You have quite a few options to offer your opinion of what you think it in error.
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  • Profile picture of the author CageyVet
    I have found a few lead gen businesses online that offer a Lead Gen Service that runs along side the business own business website, Places, G+ etc pages. So the lead gen business sells the service to the client, the client gets a lead gen website. Then the lead gen business sets up Places, G+, FB, etc etc and attaches to the Lead Gen site all with the approval of the business owner, so the owner of the legitimate business allows the lead gen site to verify the location for Google Places.

    Now the legitimate business can allow the lead gen business to use what ever means possible to rank and bank leads without anything affecting their legitimate business website, places, fb etc.

    So it is possible that the driving school lead gen company is working in cooperation with the businesses and it is using a sort of loop hole to get more Places pages to ensure that they dominate the first page of Google. IF this is the case, you are probably screwed unless you just simple out rank them.
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    • Profile picture of the author 9999
      Thanks Linda, very informative and strait to the point. Will keep this for future reference.
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      • Ya it still amazes me how many folks do this full time as consultants and don't know about the resources that are available and all the improvements that are constantly being made.

        I have a forum section called "Google Local IMPORTANT" that lists all the updates, new features, bugs and changes that are most important. Many of the things in that section I have BETA tested in advance for Google or have insider info on.

        I only add IMPORTANT G+ Local stuff there (And I'm the only one that can start a thread there) So you can subscribe to just that one forum and always be kept up to date on Google changes the minute they happen - without any other noise. (I announced phone support the second it launched 2 years ago and have several other related posts about it as it's been expanded or changed.)

        So if you want to stay on top and not have to read through lots of noise all over the place - that's one way to do it.
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