Tales of Horror from the Dark Side of Google My Business
It’s time to gather around the campfire and tell some spooky Google My Business (GMB) horror stories. Since he shares the name of Friday the 13th killer Jason Voorhees, it’s only fitting that Jason Brown acts as the narrator. Please do not read this post in the dark.
Google allows and encourages users to create and post User Generated Content (UGC) such as reviews, Q&As, and photos to local business’ GMB profiles. Sadly, not all of that content helps users or businesses. When users get bored they like to play games with GMB listings. Some were so bored that they graced us with these listings.
From the big house to the White House, see for yourself that no-one is safe from the horrors of UGC in GMB.
Frighteningly Fake Listings
Now here’s a listing that ‘Suggest an Edit’ couldn’t get removed, “Thor’s Dildo Repair.” Something powerful was preventing the listing from being lifted off Google.
Credit Tom Waddington
Thor’s is now out of business.
Users love to post photos, but not all photos fit the business. Take this unclaimed Publix Bakery listing, for example. The default photo is the scariest looking cat I’ve ever seen. Is the cat food they sell really that bad?
Credit Amy Toman
Starbucks is known for its coffee. Sadly, they get their fair share of bad photos. “Ma’am, this is an Arby’s, not a Starbucks.” (literally).
Apparently, Kit Kat and his owner love posting nonsense photos to random businesses.
Speaking of random photos, may I have a Skinny Half-Caf Camel Milk Latte?
As we’ve seen, users will try anything and everything for a laugh… even the kitchen sink.
That’s right, even The White House is not immune to pranks, but it does highlight our growing infrastructure problem.
Not all fake reviews are negative. The HMP Belmarsh Prison, for example, is apparently a great place to celebrate your wedding anniversary. I know where I’m taking the wife this December. (I just hope to leave with both ears.)
Credit Tim Capper
Poor Jesse Frick is trapped at the Theo Lacy Facility. It’s almost like they’ve locked the door to his room.
Meanwhile, the Santa Ana Jail really needs to upgrade its wait staff.
Still, three stars!!!
On a less flippant note, reviews targeting people can have really negative effects. Sadly, the Skyway Animal Hospital in Florida keeps getting negative reviews meant for a veterinary service in Canada with the same name.
Questionable Questions and Awful Answers
Google has given us the ability to ask questions but let’s just say that not all questions need to be asked.
The Red Hen made the news when the restaurant asked embattled White Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave. Since users can’t post reviews, they are now voicing their displeasure by asking and answering questions.
Sadly a different restaurant with the same name was attacked by a poor misguided soul in the Q&A.
If you’re going to slam a business, at least get the right one!
These excruciating examples show us that anything can happen to your business listing on Google if you’re not careful. The bottom line is if you have a GMB listing, you have to monitor it, because any user can add and upload anything they want. If you’re not careful, that user’s joke can backfire and do major harm to your business or brand.
Do you have your own GMB horror stories to tell? Please share them in the comments below.