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Google Removed 7 Million Fake Business Profiles In 2021

Google reveals it removed seven million fake business profiles, and prevented 12 million from being created, throughout 2021.

Google Removed 7 Million Fake Business Profiles In 2021

In a report from Google about how it keeps Maps information reliable, the search company reveals it removed seven million fake business profiles in 2021.

Additionally, Google prevented tens of millions of fake business profiles from being created, and disabled over a million user accounts belonging to “bad actors.”

Verifying the legitimacy of information in Google Business Profiles and Google Maps is increasingly challenging, as the number of contributions continues to rise year over year.

Google now receives 20 million contributions every day from people using Maps, such as updated business hours, contact information, photos, and reviews.

Here are the key highlights from Google’s report on what goes into keeping Maps & Business Profile information accurate.

How Google Keeps Local Business Information Reliable

Google uses a combination of machine learning and human operators to identify content in Maps and Business Profiles that’s fraudulent or abusive.

People contributed content to 30% more businesses in 2021 compared to 2020, though less than 1% was considered fraudulent or abusive.

The small percentage of fraudulent content indicates most contributions are well intentioned, but sometimes “bad actors” try to make abusive edits or create fake Business Profiles.

Google catches most of the malicious content before it goes live in Search and Maps. Here’s how much of that content was detected in 2021.

Fake Info Removed From Google Maps & Business Profiles In 2021

In 2021, Google:

  • Blocked over 100 million abusive edits from going live.
  • Removed seven million fake Business Profiles.
  • Received 630K reports of fake Business Profiles, which were at acted on.
  • Stopped 12 million attempts to create fake Business Profiles.
  • Stopped eight million attempts to claim Business Profiles from people they didn’t belong to.
  • Disabled over one million user accounts due to policy-violating activity, such as online vandalism or fraud.
  • Put protections on over 100K businesses after detecting suspicious activity and abuse attempts.
  • Blocked or removed 95 million policy-violating reviews.
  • Took down over one million reviews that were directly reported.
  • Blocked or removed over 190 million photos and five million videos that were low quality or violated content policies.

Google remains committed to ensuring Google Maps & Business Profile information is reliable.

If you notice fraudulent information contributed to your, or any other, business profile you can always report it directly to Google.

As this data shows, Google does act on the reports it receives.


Featured Image: TonelsonProductions/Shutterstock

Category Local Search News
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Matt G. Southern

Senior News Writer at Search Engine Journal

Matt G. Southern, Senior News Writer, has been with Search Engine Journal since 2013. With a bachelor’s degree in communications, ... [Read full bio]

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