Is This Method Fair? Will It Get Me Blacklisted Off Google?
At Awesome Dynamic, we strive for 100% white hat SEO techniques (see the cool hat section below). This strategy is technically white hat but some SEOs and business owners may consider this slightly gray hat. Yes, you can move up and rank on Google Maps by eliminating your competitors for violating Google’s guidelines. You won’t get blacklisted off of Google just because you make a Google Map submission for violating guidelines. In fact, you will be more trusted by Google.
Eliminate Competition & Rank on Google Maps
The amount of work to reward ratio is high so we are recommending this strategy. Keep in mind, you are eliminating spam from Google guideline violations and helping out Google’s search results to make it easier for real people to get great results, even if they so happen to be your competitors. Here you go:
Step-By-Step How To Rank on Google Maps Better
- Make sure your business follows all the Google guidelines
- Find competition by using an SEO tool like Bright Local or simply type the keywords/keyword phrases you want to rank on Google Maps for
- Look at the local map results (picture below)
- If the business violates any of Google’s guidelines, report them via Google Maps
- Have someone you know also report them on Google Maps (optional)
- This will open up an investigation ticket and hopefully eliminate your competition off of the local map, pushing you up and getting more phone calls
Why Is It Important to Eliminate Competitors on Google Maps?
- Move your business up in Google’s organic rankings
- Move your business up in Google’s local 3 pack results
- Get more calls directly from Google searches
- Make it harder for competitors that don’t follow Google’s guidelines to recover from penalties
Common Eligibility Guidelines Violated You Can Report Competitors For:
- Business address is their home (use Google Street View. Guide here.)
- Business is at a P.O. Box
- Business is at a storage facility
- Business must be able to interact with people in person during the hours listed
- Businesses under construction or not yet opened
- Regular classes, services, or meetings held at a location that you don’t own or rent
- Business name must be your real world name (no extra keywords attached)
- Separate listing for each employee’s home address
- Full Google My Business Guidelines here
How Google Maps Flagging Works
Google checks for violations in 2 ways: by the computer and by humans. The chances that you get flagged by one of these methods is very unlikely if you have a small violation because there are so many listings out there. You want to rank on Google maps. However, if a competitor waves a red flag in front of Google’s face with a direct submission to Google Maps, then they prioritize these complaints made by “the community”. This can also be especially true if you are a trusted Google reviewer on Google Maps. You can then get rewarded by eliminating your competitors fairly and quite quickly as well.
What’s Your SEO Wizard Hat?
White Hat SEO:
Great SEO techniques used to boost your site in the ratings honestly and fully comply with Google’s guidelines. Google and search engines encourage these techniques to get your website ranking. Some white hat techniques could turn to gray or black tomorrow with Google updating its algorithm about 2x per day.
Gray Hat SEO:
Unproven or controversial techniques that could have a high reward or could boot you off of Google. Ranges from low to extreme risk. Not technically against any of Google’s policies. Sometimes tested off the site first before applying to a website to avoid possible penalties. Borderline.
Black Hat SEO:
Techniques that get you black listed off of Google. Definitely against Google’s guidelines. May get you temporarily higher rankings but will ultimately lead to a penalty by computer or human. Some techniques may have formerly been white or gray hat. Make sure your SEO or web developer knows if they are using an old technique that was fine 1 month ago but gets you blacklisted today.