On November 6, it was reported by LocalU that there has been a rise of Google My Business accounts being hijacked by hackers who take over the listing to change the business to their information.
While we are no stranger to fake and spammy business listings on Google Maps, having entire listings taken over by hijackers is a little different.
How It Happens
In the LocalU article, author and local SEO expert Joy Hawkins states it is most likely that these hijackings take place via the “claim this business” link that appears on business listings on search, but there are still other sneaky ways we could be unaware of.
Sadly, there is no way to remove the “claim this business” link from your listing, but you will be notified if anyone tries to claim the listing through email, which gives you some control over the matter.
And if you do receive an email titled “Someone has requested ownership of Your Business on Google My Business” her advice is to delete it from your inbox:
“If you don’t recognize the user, simply delete the email. Do not click on the link. A user shouldn’t be able to get access to your listing without you granting it to them or them being able to complete verification.” (Source)
How to Report Hijacked Listings
If this ends up happening to you, or you notice it has happened for other businesses, you can use the spam redressal form created by Google that allows you to report listings on maps that break their guidelines and have misinformation.
Other Major Issues Going on with Google
There has also been a number of other issues that have been recently reported from various SEOs, including:
- Suspensions for making single edits to profiles
- GMB posts being rejected/disappearing
- Newer reviews missing
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