Google Fights Back Against Fake Business Profiles and Local Reviews

author image Written by: Nicole McCormick           Categories - In The News

Google Removes over 75 Million Fake Business Reviews in Major Crackdown

Take a hike fake business profiles. Google Maps is waging a battle against fake content, as evidenced by a recent rampage where Google removed over 4 million fake business profiles and 75 million policy-violating reviews from Google My Business. According to a recent blog post, Google has been tackling the issue of inappropriate content on Google Maps using automated detection systems like machine learning models. These tools are being used to scan millions of contributions being sent to Google Maps everyday and remove any policy-violating content. “Like any platform that welcomes user-generated content, we have to remain vigilant against inappropriate content—the vast majority of which is removed before anyone actually sees it,” said Google. “And as more people contribute to Google Maps, we continue to crack down on the bad actors who violate our policies, using a combination of people and technology to tackle unwelcome content.”

#FakeReviews Who?

When it comes to fake reviews, Google’s systems are pretty diligent, checking each and every review for signs of fake content before it gets published. via GIPHY So how exactly can Google detect fake content? Essentially, its machine learning models are on the hunt for specific words and phrases, examining patterns in the types of content an account has contributed in the past, in order to catch any suspicious review patterns. Even still, Google says, fake reviews do slip through the cracks from time to time, which is why it has also been deploying teams of fake content warriors, AKA trained operators and analysts, to audit reviews, photos, business profiles, and other types of content. And as an extra layer of security, Google also makes it easy for anyone to flag fake reviews, inappropriate content, and misleading places for removal. https://twitter.com/Google/status/1230229180295602176

By the Numbers

Think that’s impressive? You haven’t heard anything yet. Google says that in total, it receives over 20 million contributions every day – that’s more than 7 billion contributions a year! However, keep in mind that the majority of these contributions are in fact legitimate, with only one percent flagged as policy-violating content. Even still, as a result of its efforts over the past year, Google was able to pull off the following feats:

  • More than 75 million policy-violating reviews and 4 million fake business profiles removed
  • Over 580,000 reviews and 258,000 business profiles taken down due to user reporting
  • Over 10 million photos and 3 million videos that violated our content policies removed
  • 475,000 user accounts disabled

Still thinking of posting fake reviews? Better think again, as the almighty Google has vowed to continue developing new tools and techniques in order to fight the good fight against “bad actors” and preserve the sanctity of contributed content. “Contributed content is an indispensable part of how we’re making Google Maps richer and more helpful for everyone,” said Google. “With people’s contributions, we’ve been building a truly helpful map that not only gets you from A to B, but also helps you find the places and experiences that are right for you, whether you need to tackle last-minute gift shopping or have a craving for pizza.”

Nicole McCormick

Nicole is a wordsmith wizard, passionate about the written word and an avid storyteller who uses creatively crafted prose to help bring your brand’s story to the next level. A former journalist with writing credits in both local and national news publications and a few newspaper awards under her belt, Nicole now enjoys telling your stories and finding new and creative ways to create valuable content that resonates with audiences in the digital landscape.

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