Competitors Can Hijack Leads Through Your GBP & LSA. Stay Alert!

Written by
Anna Postol
Reviewed by
Olena Karpova
Feb 15, 2024
2 min read

Competitors have found sneaky ways to sabotage your business leads on Google. They can link their own Local Search Ads to your Google Business Profile without your permission. This causes your own ads to disappear from LSA results.

The most alarming part is that they can do this in secret. Let’s say that one day you’re benefiting from your ad spend, and the next day you’re getting no traffic or leads from ads. Only later would you discover that one of your competitor’s ad campaigns had completely overridden your listings. 

In fact, this exact thing happened to one unlucky business owner called Knoxville Real Estate. He shared his experience on the Google Business Profile forum.

Ben Fisher, co-founder and lead consultant at Steady Demand, has brought even more attention to this issue. He railed against this unfair advertising loophole on X, calling it a “brutal new tactic” that Google needs to get under control.

The most concerning thing is that you won’t get much help from Google on this issue even if you report it to Google support. Google tends not to put much effort into fixing problems like these. And to add insult to injury, if the best solution is to register a new GBP, you will lose all previous data, including reviews, which is not good by default.

Ginny Marvin, Google Ads Liaison Officer, initially responded by saying that Google was taking the issue into consideration. Unfortunately, she later issued an update on the situation, claiming that it was “an isolated incident”.

It’s clear that this is a big flop for Google’s surveillance initiatives. This so-called ‘isolated’ incident has revealed a blindspot on Google’s part that allows bad actors to openly manipulate business listings, which hurts businesses.

Meanwhile, make sure to double check your visibility in organic search results. SE Ranking’s Local Marketing Tool can help you keep a close eye on your overall GBP performance.

GBP overview

Simply connect your Google Business Profiles to this tool to get a centralized dashboard view of all important statistics. It covers searches, Google Search (and Maps) views for both mobile and desktop devices, website visits, directions, calls, photo views, and the number of unique conversations. So, if you see some indicators beginning to drop,  it’s probably time to check on your stats more closely.

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