What would you do if you wanted to game Google into thinking you’ve got a vast network of local shops servicing area customers based on their search queries? No need to ask as some sharpies have already figured it out, according to a recent New York Times report. It seems the answer is to become a ghost — or thousands of them. Google acknowledges this is the case as well.

But how do they do it? The practice is not as simple it seems, as it requires fake storefronts and other trickery that ultimately lead consumers to find that the inexpensive local locksmith advertising from around the corner is actually spawned from a lead-gen service a country away, and that friendly nearby locksmith is suddenly very expensive and not so nice. As I said, these folks are shrewd.

Now one startup is taking the practice on by combing their data (from two of the four major data aggregators) and painstakingly removing the offenders. Surely they aren’t alone in the fight but Bizyhood is an example of a

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Source: Street Fight