Restoration Rocket presents a local SEO case study on fake Google My Business listings

Extensive research uncovers amazing details about Google Maps spam

Restoration Rocket conducted a local SEO case study to identify common characteristics in spam Google My Business (GMB) listings. The study is a follow-up to the famous Wall Street Journal article on the same subject. Restoration Rocket has reviewed thousands of listings across 34 markets. As part of their SEO research, they have helped many genuine restoration companies by reporting hundreds of fake Google My Business listings.

Readers should note that this study was not conducted to quantify how many entries were fake, but rather to find the commonalities between entries confirmed to be fake. Google My Business spam originates from companies trying to gain an advantage over their competitors by resorting to unfavorable practices using fake names and addresses.

The study was aimed at fake Google My Business listings Instead of actual business owners trying to climb the SEO ladder and appear at the top of search. Restoration Rocket ultimately wants to instill confidence that real companies can fight the problem, show SEO companies the common traits of spammy GMB listings, and finally show bad actors that their fake companies are being cleaned up. Restoration Rocket analyzed dozens of factors such as number of reviews, average rating of reviews, years in business, etc.

The team dove into 34 markets across the United States. The research started with a Google search using the same search term for each market. “Market and disaster recovery company.” Each search result was then manually reviewed. Restoration Rocket was patient to note anything that looked suspicious. 250 fake Google My Business listings were identified and counteracted at the same time. recovery rocket tested the correction process via Google Maps by doing “suggest change”, “close or remove”, “doesn’t exist here” and consistently repeated this process.

To ensure they don’t ruin legitimate businesses, Restoration Rocket conducted searches manually rather than using an algorithm or system. To further determine a company’s legitimacy, they conducted a company and entity search of respective states’ databases before taking any action. If the company was not registered or filed with the state, it was fair game to be considered for the study.

Within 10 days of reporting companies as spam, Google published 132 changes and terminated 52% of the fake companies. The remaining 118 entries were processed through a single spreadsheet using the Google Business Redressal Complaint Form. After 3 weeks of waiting, Restoration Rocket went back to review each of the above listings and found that Google had removed another 69 fake listings. Only 45 of the original 250 Google My Business profiles remained at the end of the project.

The study revealed several intriguing facts highlighting company name usage, listing rating, number of reviews, listing age and website exposure.

Highlights include:

  • Fake listings have been in business for an average of 3 years, according to Google!

  • Fake offers had an average of 6 reviews!

  • 35% of fake listings had a 5-star rating!

To learn more and see all the results of the study, visit

About recovery rocket

Restoration Rocket is a full-service search engine optimization agency specifically focused on the restoration industry. From link building to Google My Business optimization, Restoration Rocket provides the support business owners need to get their website to the top of search results!



recovery rocket

Phone: (469) 301-1556


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