Google recently clarified how it shows song lyrics in search results using copyright content from partners after being accused in a report by the Wall Street Journal. Now, the search giant has given its second explanation this week, clarifying its stance on showing fake business profiles on one of its most used apps, Google Maps.
The product director of Google Maps, Ethan Russell mentioned in the blog post how actively the company tackles fake businesses in Maps. This explanation comes soon after a report by the Wall Street Journal that accused Google of showing fake business profiles in the Maps application that dupe users.
“We get millions of contributions each day (like new business profiles, reviews, star ratings, and more) and the vast majority of these contributions are helpful and accurate. But occasionally, business scammers take advantage of local listings to make a profit. They do things like charge business owners for services that are actually free, defraud customers by posing as real businesses, and impersonate real businesses to secure leads and then sell them,” says Russell.
He adds that fake business profiles have the lowest contribution of all the business profiles on Google Maps and are using different ‘techniques and approaches’ to limit abuse. Russell says that the company has strict policies and tools to determine which business profiles are fake. They also take help from public feedbacks and business that have been flagged to determine it. He, however, did not reveal exactly how Google Maps tackles fake business profiles as it may help scammers find new ways to beat the systems.
“There was still work to be done then and there’s still work to be done now. We have an entire team dedicated to addressing these issues and taking constant action to remove profiles that violate our policies,” said Russell.
Last year, the company took down over 3 million fake business profiles, of which 90% were removed before end users could see it. In addition, over 250,000 fake business profiles were reported by users.