After a Wall Street Journal survey concluded that there are millions of fake business listings on Google Maps, the company has issued a response describing the measures needed to combat the problem.
According to estimates from Internet advertising experts surveyed by the WSJ, there are "about 11 million false listed businesses on a given day," with hundreds of thousands more fake entries appearing each month. Many are located by companies that specialize in creating false listings for customers who want to increase their competition information in search results.
According to a search expert interviewed by WSJ, a 2017 academic study paid by Google found only 0.5% of the local searches being investigated were false, skewed by limited data.
In the company's replies, Google Maps product director Ethan Russell wrote that of the more than 200 million entries added to Google Maps over the years, only a "small percentage" is false. He said last year Google took down more than 3 million fake business profiles, including more than 90% removed before users could see them. Google's systems identified 85% of records removed, while 250,000 were reported by users. The company also deactivated 1[ads1]50,000 user accounts that turned out to be abusive, a 50% increase from 2017.
Russell wrote that the company is constantly working on new and better ways to combat these scams using a range of ever-growing manual and automated systems, " but can not share more details about them because otherwise scammers can find a way to get around.
The WSJ report comes as another Google-owned service, YouTube, is in control of how it fights for scale abuses. released its first anti-mission report last year, but problematic content, including hate questions, continues to be a major problem, and platform critics say it happens to enforce its own policies.
Along with Apple, Amazon and Facebook, Google's parents have the company alphabet is currently facing antitrust investigations by the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department, and its search activity it is expected to go under review.