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No wonder locksmith spam is so rampant. Google makes it SOOO easy to create fake listings. Learn how, and help make some noise so Google shuts down this loophole. Another great post from +Nyagoslav Zhekov 
Bjørn Madsen's profile photoAdam Steele's profile photoRon Russell's profile photoPhil Rozek's profile photo
The beginning of a new brand of genius:  NyagoSpark  ;)   nice article
Thanks for sharing and great business name on the listing. notch post lad! Blogged about the locksmith spams in a couple of years yup, know the space and loved your take on same! :-)
Spam stinks! :-) We have checks to get those spamming us, and we do our
best to balance the user experience while maintaining the integrity of our
+Joel Headley If they have a website then they usually have Analytics as well as Webmaster tools then they can verify using the meta tag for a business page on G+. I spoke about this at the TC summit. Nobody listened to me. It is very easy to lock it down, it just takes forcing people to do something. 

Google already has most businesses, they just force users to claim them. 
That's a good idea +Matt Storms, but it would restrict businesses without websites, and there are millions of those, especially outside of the U.S..
In the US, everyone has a business website, even my babysitter has one and she is 15.
+Joel Headley  Opening up phone verification for listings that didn't exist until 5 minutes beforehand is the opposite of maintaining the integrity of the listings.  Nyagoslav actually took too many steps to do this, I know people that do it (legitimately in these cases) in 5 minutes total and without talking to anyone at Google.  I won't publish the even shorter method, you can get a hold of me via Lori or Jade if you need the details to quash it; though the basic way to do it would be:

1. Go back to needing high confidence in the phone number before phone verification is needed.  Maybe it doesn't need to be as high as before; but Google's reach is far enough that they will know about 99% of numbers.  High confidence DEFINITELY does not include listings that were created moments before.

2. Have a method to report listings that have hidden their address, and have that handled quickly.

3.  Send a postcard when someone wants to make major changes.  That used to be the rule.  Why can someone do a 100% change of their name and/or categories 5 minutes after verifying different information?  In other words, quite often 10 minutes after creating the place from scratch.

4.  Make your LE program actually work.  They get over 95% of their reviews wrong.  I am in no way exaggerating, Map Maker staff are constantly scrambling to try to clean up after your staff.  If I'd marked that listing for deletion, an LE would have denied it.  When they did so they would not have glanced over the listing themselves and fixed things, even though that's what MM staff do even when denying edits.

You have not balanced the user experience with data integrity, you have thrown data integrity out the window completely in favour of the user experience; and have gone further than necessary as none of the steps above would create a negative user experience for legitimate businesses.
+Matt Storms If I am a spammer worth my salt, I am not using GA or WMT. Sure, you can nail the idiots this way, but this group is not the problem. 

If I am Google, I would go to the guys who are teaching, buying their courses, etc and plugging up the holes. But if I am Google, I am too busy with bigger problems. So I just leave cute comments on threads like this. 

+Nyagoslav Zhekov, much respect for digging in, finding this hole and publishing it. Unfortunately I think it is falling on deaf ears. 
+Matt Storms you would think, but there really are millions of U.S. Businesses without websites.
+Adam Steele True, but Google is so busy putting out fires that it’s ignoring the cancer.  The cancer is anything that makes people less likely to use and trust Google as a search engine.  They can get serious about it when it’s a big problem or a bigger problem.  Eventually the spam will get so bad that the pendulum will swing (again) in the other direction, and Google will make it hard-to-impossible for the good guys to hang their shingle on Places.  Then they’ll notch back the restrictions and let the spammers have at it again.  It’s a cycle.

No disrespect to +Joel Headley, but I hardly think he can address those points head-on, +Dan Austin.  Not sure anyone at Google can or will say anything other than "We're working on it." 
It is worth noting after all of this that the original (fake) listing that brought so much embarrassment to Google is still there, with all of the comments. I still wonder if it was a false flag operation, the Google bit.CH listing. If so, it was a beautiful piece of workthat has raised much needed attention to this issue. Next step is to get attorneys general involved in every state of the Union.
+Philip Rozek Well put friend. Cancer indeed. I guess, unlike you, I have given up hope that things could change. I don't feel like they have a responsibility to me. I can get as pissed off as I want with the state of the organic SERPs, but at the end of the day, what good does it do? I don't pay anything and have generated more money than I can possibly count for my clients. They don't owe me Jack. Instead, I will put my cries and anger into something constructive and go about continuing to generate said monies, in and outside of Google.

This is an ancient argument :)
+Darren Shaw Not to mention the thousands of new businesses that get started every day - they do not have websites - yet.
+Adam Steele Nope, I've more or less given up on Google's QC, too.  Hence my description of the cycle.
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