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Dealer Beware: If you don't know Local SEO, know your Local SEO'er

joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
3,990
1,514
113
First Name
Joe
I follow Miriam, a well respected Local SEO expert that has stumbled on what looks like a Local SEO spam campaign for Goodson Honda West

SEO Igloo Blog Are These Reviews Authentic? You Be The Judge.

The Low Down
Goodson Honda West has more than 65 reviews for their business in Google Maps/Places. A glance at the top 5 prominently displayed on their Place Page bespeaks a glowingly satisfied customer base. All 5 stars!

"...Reviewer names Salsa, for example, appears to have bought numerous cars all over the country, rented an apartment in Chicago, bought a bike in DC, and enjoyed a great night’s sleep at hotels in Texas, California, N. Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania, all on August 2nd. "

I took a look myself: Goodson Honda West - Google Maps

Not good.

Goodson Honda West, look out, if you get discovered and tagged AND you may vanish and thats not a good place to be.
 
Reactions: 2 people

DrewAment

Sr. Refresher
Apr 30, 2009
304
129
43
First Name
Drew
This is actually quite common. There is a company out there that will "review boost" (google that, I dont want to make a link). It is complete BS in my opinion - I report EVERY one I see....scroll to bottom of the places page and click "report problem".

The service charges anywhere from $395-595/month. Whats worse is that the sales pitch is a complete outright lie, as the Google TOS does not allow for what they are doing - yet they claim to have had a Google employee look at he program and approve. BTW -- They would not give me the name and contact info of this Google employee.

I think (and hope) most consumers see through a campaign ran like that. I am waiting for the day that Google actually takes down/penalizes a places page for this practice.

--Drew
 
Reactions: 2 people

Ryan Thompson

Sr. Refresher
Apr 21, 2010
401
59
28
First Name
Ryan
I was always pissed when I saw dealers/business using these Ghost raters. I was unaware that you get nailed for it!! Love it.
 
Reactions: 1 person

Jeff Kershner

Founder
May 1, 2005
3,483
1,079
113
First Name
Jeff
Good find Joe. This is bullshit and a weak effort on a dealers/business to try and bump the system. Of course maybe the dealer isn't even aware of what the service is truly doing to get the positive reviews.
 
Reactions: 1 person

ryan.leslie

Sr. Refresher
Apr 20, 2009
581
500
93
First Name
Ryan
Great post Joe! I'm going to have to take that PCG survey a few hundred more times and tell everybody how smart you are. ;)

This doesn't seem that difficult to prevent. If Miriam can click on the reviewer's profile and see 30 reviews submitted in one day for various businesses around the country, why can't the administrator identify this as a problem? More than 4 reviews in a 24 hour period should raise a red flag, right? Seems to me that they may be more interested in the quantity of content than the integrity of the data if they don't have this simple fraud prevention in place.
 
Reactions: 1 person

MullerToyota

Refresher
Jun 20, 2009
103
8
0
First Name
Muller
The sad part is that I don't know how much it matters when you report these bastards. I have a local dealer near me that I can prove is buying links to raise their SERP - and I can't do anything about it. Sure, I have alerted google numerous times, I have told our internet rep for our manufacturer - but in the end - if google doesn't penalize them, then nothing can be done.
 
Reactions: 1 person

ryan.leslie

Sr. Refresher
Apr 20, 2009
581
500
93
First Name
Ryan
The sad part is that I don't know how much it matters when you report these bastards. I have a local dealer near me that I can prove is buying links to raise their SERP - and I can't do anything about it. Sure, I have alerted google numerous times, I have told our internet rep for our manufacturer - but in the end - if google doesn't penalize them, then nothing can be done.
Might want to call your local TV station...

Are Local Dealership's Rave Reviews Fake? - Video - KSAT San Antonio
 
Reactions: 1 person

Anirban

Getting Refreshed
Nov 12, 2010
56
1
0
First Name
Anirban
@Muller, when you complain Google web master that some one is buying links you should have enough evidence of proof that some one buying links, because otherwise its been tough for Google to identify who is honest.
 
Reactions: 1 person