Google Update: Public Profile Cards, Map Spam, and GMB Insights

Google Update

Local Rank Flux

We’ve been hearing rumblings of a ranking shakeup in the SEO world, but are seeing little evidence in the local space. If you look at local search rankings on a daily basis, you’ll always see some bobbing and weaving, but nothing permanent or significant has caught our eye over the last week. BrightLocal’s Local Rank Flux tool has confirmed that as well:

Google Public Profile Cards

Google Public Profile Cards have been spotted in the wild in search results in India. Android9to5.com reports that some queries for people’s names were enabling them to claim and update what information was available to the public about themWe speculate that this could make a local business eligible for 3 knowledge panels in some cases:

  1. A branded knowledge panel for the business.
  2. A practitioner knowledge panel (in the case of a lawyer, doctor, or other practitioner-eligible categories).
  3. A personal knowledge panel. 

Does this mean that Google would show all 3? What might that look like?  

Google took down the informational pages they had initially linked to, so likely it was mistakenly published. But it could be something coming in the future.

Fighting Google Map Spam

While fighting spam on Google Maps can be a controversial tactic, we feel it’s an important part of leveling the playing field for businesses.  The map spam epidemic is expertly outlined in an article from Vox that shares the story of Brianna Jaynes. Brianna was desperately searching for help with drug addiction and started by calling a phone number she found while searching in Google. 

It was the beginning of an ordeal that found her more addicted and hopeless than when she started. This is a real-life story of someone preyed upon and negatively impacted by Google map spam. It’s a harrowing story worth a read to give you insight into why this is such a terrible problem.

Google My Business Views Metric

It’s no secret that the Google My Business “views” metric is pretty “meh”. Joy Hawkins has written about how much she dislikes it. Brodie Clark, an SEO from Australia, recently tweeted a scenario that shows a brand new listing he created and published. The listing somehow began preloaded with a 10-day history and 163 views. Just another example of the hot mess that is Insights and an indicator of where Google could do some clean-up reporting work.

Google Update