This is how Google Maps took action against fake posts last year

What you need to know Google disclosed over the past year how it dealt with fake posts in Maps. The navigation service removed more fake reviews and false business profiles in 2022 than in the previous year. Google attributed this to an update to its machine learning capabilities. which helped identify abusive trends more quickly.

It’s no secret that there’s a whole community of scammers exploiting Google Maps bugs for profit, mostly because it’s so easy to spoof the service’s listings and reviews that hitting them right away can be risky trust. Because of this, Google is always on the lookout for abusive trends, and has shown how it has ramped up those efforts over the past year.

Google today revealed in a blog post (opens in new tab) that last year it made a major update to its machine learning capabilities to pinpoint abuse patterns in maps faster than ever. For example, the search giant cited a spike in company profiles with websites ending in .design or .top — a sure sign they were fake as far as Google’s manual analysis went. Thanks to AI, these fake profiles were quickly blasted and all associated accounts were then removed.

That advance resulted in 20 million attempts to create fake business profiles being blocked, up 8 million from the previous year, according to Google. With new measures, the internet giant also ensured that more than 185,000 companies were protected from abusive activity on cards.

Google also discovered scammers overlaid contributed photos with inaccurate phone numbers to lure unsuspecting users into their trap. This could result in victims calling the wrong people and not the legitimate company that owned the photos. Google’s answer was a new machine learning model that analyzed image details and layouts to recognize numbers superimposed on submitted photos.

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As a result, over 200 million photos and 7 million videos were removed because they were either blurry, of low quality, or violating Google’s content policies. The Mountain View-based company also sued scammers posing as Google and soliciting consumers to sell fake reviews online.

Speaking of which, the company’s problem on this front remains, as evidenced by the sheer volume of fake reviews it removed last year. According to Google, over 115 million fake reviews were blocked or removed in 2022, a 20% increase from the previous year.

Google says it’s working on new ways to curb suspicious activity on Maps by investing in the latest technology.