Search Engine Land: Yelp cracks down on ‘review rings’ as Google continues to see widespread mapspam. “Yelp has almost certainly been the most aggressive of the review platforms to take action against spam and review fraud. The company has historically and controversially tried to prevent any form of review solicitation….Now the company is stepping up efforts to stop ‘review rings,’ which have become something of a cottage industry online.”
CBC: ‘Something scuzzy’: Marketplace investigation uncovers fake locksmith listings and reviews on Google. “If you’re locked out of your house with nowhere to turn, chances are you’re going to have to call a locksmith. But picking a locksmith may prove trickier than picking a lock itself, especially if your search begins online. A Marketplace investigation into the locksmith industry uncovered a sprawling network of fake locations and fake five-star reviews cluttering local Google Maps in the Greater Toronto Area.” This infuriates me because fake locksmith listings on Google are a problem that’s at least six years old. And, yet, still not fixed.
The West Australian: Google Maps gets overseas tourists stuck near Goldfields fire zone. “Drivers are being warned not to trust online maps in times of emergencies after two tourists were found down a backtrack near Norseman as firefighters tackled several blazes. Kalgoorlie incident control centre public information officer Drew Griffiths said emergency services had located a foreign couple who appeared to have relied on information from an online maps service to go around the road closures.”
Lifehacker: How to Explore the Solar System in Google Maps via Hyperspace. “Now, unless 2020 gets real weird, chances are humanity won’t be making any near-lightspeed journeys anytime soon. But Google Maps can now help us realize that experience in a small way, via a novel hyperspace effect that’s been added to the navigation tool’s solar system exploration feature.”
Telangana Today: Hyderabad’s tipplers rely on Google maps to hoodwink cops. “In a bid to evade cops armed with breath analyzers carrying out drunken driving checks, the tipplers have started searching traffic jams in the search box on Google Maps in the night.”
Search Engine Land: Good guides gone bad: How Google’s ‘Local Guides’ program fails businesses and consumers. “When Google launched Local Guides some years ago, few of us could have realized what level of impact this program would have on the local search ecosystem, and even if we had, I’d like to have thought it would be a positive one…. Sadly, having spoken to several high-profile members of the local search community, including some Google My Business Product Experts (skilled users certified by Google as having exceptional and in-depth knowledge of their products), the current picture is far from optimistic.”
Ubergizmo: Google Maps Can Now List The Right EV Charging Stations For Your Car. “Google Maps already offers users the ability to look for EV charging stations, but like we said, due to different cars using different connectors, the nearest EV charging station to you might not be the right one. For example, Nissan’s EVs use the CHAdeMO connector, while BMW and Volkswagen use CCS, while Tesla has its own proprietary connector (although in their defense, they also have their own dedicated stations).”