Since 'location spamming' Google My Business is currently working, should I do it?
 by Kristi Hagen

Since location spamming Google My Business is currently working, should I do it?

  • I read an article by (Local Search expert) Joy Hawkins a few months ago saying that everyone was sick of GMB (Google My Business) spam and the unfair advantage people got when adding a location to their business name.

    She said that, since no one seemed to ever get penalized, it seemed unfair to the people who were following the "rules" and trying to do the right thing. So, while she couldn't recommend doing it, it didn't seem that the rules were fair.

    So, I decided to go with what's working and added my location to our Law firm's business name in GMB. The results were fantastic, I was killing it in the local pack. We were prominently ranked and showed up in a bunch of local packs for a lot of local search queries.

    However, today I found that my GMB listing has been changed back to the name of our Law firm minus the location. GMB says I can change it back if I want to.

    So here are my questions...

    1. Should I change it back?
    2. Should I officially change our business name to the Law firm name + location and then just update the GMB listing?
    3. If I officially changed our name to include the location, do I need to start a new GMB listing?
    4. Am I in big trouble? Will I get a Google penalty if I change it back?
    5. Will I get a Google penalty if I don't change it back?

Answer:

Just like Joy, we can't advise you to spam Google. It's typically not a sustainable tactic.

However, if you are willing to suffer whatever consequences there may be now or later for doing it, you've seen that it works.

There's a good chance that a complaint or edit was made by a competitor or someone working on their behalf. If so, that's probably not the end of it. If you change it back, they may get even more aggressive.

On the other hand, if you wish to actually change your business name to officially include your location, you can certainly do so. However, you'll need to do it everywhere online and offline.

Currently the only consequence for adding spam (i.e., your location

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