An hijacked Google My Business listings (GMB) is when someone other than the business gains control of the local profile. This phenomena appears to be growing. SterlingSky’s Joy Hawkins has reported on the trend and some of the methods used by spammers and scammers.
This new trend comes from unethical local marketers, who are effectively phishing, using the “claim this business” link in the local Knowledge Panel/Profile. That generates an email request for control over the listing, which is sent to the registered owner of the profile.
The frequency of this tactic appears to be increasing.
It seems clear from looking at GMB forum that business owners haven’t been sufficiently educated about the risks of hijacking and that Google needs to implement more SMB safeguards — and perhaps better training for its support people.