Blackhat business owners are using spam tactics to beat out higher-quality brand competition, and people are demanding local franchise marketing solutions.
Today’s post explains 3 common spam tactics being used, why you should avoid them at all costs, and how to fight back against the blackhatters!
Spam tactics are working (for now…)
Local search algorithms are being exploited. Spam tactics are being used to give certain brands unfair advantages over the competition.
- Crowbarring keywords into Google My Business names. This tactic involves registering your business under a false name, swapping in keywords instead as a way to boost your local ranking power.
Imagine ClickTecs had an evil twin company that loved blackhat exploits.Evil ClickTecs wants to rank highly in local searches for “local franchise marketing solutions,” so they devise a plan to stuff those keywords into their official business listing and game the system. So Evil ClickTecs submits their Google My Business application with all their normal contact info, except that they use the name “Local Franchise Marketing Solutions” instead.
This is technically spam – an “irrelevant or inappropriate message” – and definitely a blackhat cheat. Google My Business Guidelines state that “your name should reflect your business’ real-world name, as used consistently on your storefront, website, stationery, and as known to customers. Accurately representing your business name helps customers find your business online.” Changing your business’s name to include keywords is one thing; using a false name to boost your ranking power is a big problem.
Unfortunately, there are quite a few businesses like Evil ClickTecs out there, and their spam tactics are working!
- Stuffing location and city names into Google My Business names. This is a lot like the previous spam tactic in that they both involve submitting a false name to exploit the local search algorithm. But where the last blackhat hack used keywords, this one targets local areas.Let’s suppose that dastardly Evil ClickTecs is at it again. But now they’ve changed their name from “Local Franchise Marketing Solutions” to “Evil ClickTecs Mississauga.” The extra city name-drop will give them a spammy ranking boost that may push them past the competition.
Yes, there are businesses like “Evil ClickTecs Mississauga” out there, and they’re blatantly spamming their way past legitimate companies!
- Creating fake business listings to get more leads. This is perhaps the most egregious spam tactic out there right now. Companies like the nefarious Evil ClickTecs are creating fake listing that redirect users to their sites, which allows them to crowd out top local search result spots!Let’s suppose Evil ClickTecs created a few such companies: the aforementioned Local Franchise Marketing Solutions, along with a new front, Franchise SEO Mississauga. Both listings are stuffed with Evil ClickTecs contact info, and clicking on any of the 3 brings you to the same homepage. Scandalous spam tactics (but, unfortunately, effective)!
Why do spam tactics work?
Google’s algorithm puts a lot of value into the business name, which makes sense since many people will search for specific brands. And because the business name gets extra attention, it makes any relevant keyword or location you include extra-powerful.
So why not use spam tactics?
Because these tactics won’t work for long. Google is always updating its algorithm to suss out spammers. And if you’re caught using blackhat exploits like these, your SERP will take a big hit.
How can my franchise fight back against local spam tactics?
These are a few local franchise marketing solutions:
- Report listings with incorrect information via the “Suggest an edit” option and submit the proper business name;
- Report spam review accounts that up-vote their brand and denounce all others, as this violates Google’s review guidelines under the “Conflict of Internet” section;
- Explore online reputation management (ORM) strategies to fight spam reviews from your competitors;
- If all else fails, wait it out! Google is working on it and will penalize spam tactic users eventually.
Find more local franchise marketing solutions or learn more about the ORM service mentioned above at https://www.clicktecs.com.Back