Google Updates Review Content Guidelines For Personal Information & Fake Engagement

Mar 7, 2023 | SEO News Feeds | 0 comments

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Google has updated the Google Maps User Contributed Content Policy around prohibited and restricted content. Specifically, Google updated the definition of personal information under the Civil discourse section and fake engagement under the Deceptive content section.

Here is a link to this document.

Here is what changed:

Personal Information

The personal information section originally read, “We don’t allow content that contains private or confidential information such as credit card details, medical records, or government–issued identification—whether yours or someone else’s.”

Now this was expanded in a big way, it now reads:

Do not distribute or post personal information without consent. Personal information is defined as information that applies to a living identifiable person and disclosure could result in risk of harm if it is compromised or misused. This includes:

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  • Content which contains personal information of another posted without their consent such as: full/last name, their face in a photograph or a video, or other information which has been reported as having been posted without consent.
  • Personally identifiable information and other personal information about yourself or others including financial information, medical information or personal identification information.

We do allow merchants to post contact information related to their business including phone, email, or social media handles.

We also allow an individual’s full name if it is part of the commonly known or advertised business entity or if they are a public-facing professional conducting business under their name.

If you believe your personal information has been posted without your consent, please follow these instructions to flag the review.

Fake Engagement

In the fake engagement section, Google added this new bullet point; “Content that has been posted using an emulator or other device tampering service, modified operating system, or other method to mimic genuine engagement, manipulate sensor data or results, or otherwise thwart or confuse normal operations.”

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I spotted these changes via:

Google revised its definition of “personal information”.

Formerly, it was absolute: “We don’t allow content that contains private or confidential information such as…”

New definition hinges on consent: “Do not distribute or post personal information without consent.”


— Stefan Somborac (@StefanSomborac) March 2, 2023

Google made some additions to their Google maps restricted content policy under personal information and fake engagement.

— Colan Nielsen (@ColanNielsen) March 2, 2023

Also, Amy Toman makes this point:

Not sure if this is new (@rustybrick?), but this reason for reporting a review may be based on this new clarification.

— Amy Toman ❄️🎄❄️ (@BubblesUp) March 2, 2023

Forum discussion at Twitter.

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