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But these days, Bertagna isn’t serving so much as a whisker. It began in early 2012, when he experienced a sudden 75 percent drop off in customers on the weekend, the time he normally did most of his business. The slump continued for months, for no apparent reason. Bertagna’s profits plummeted, he was forced to lay off some of his staff, and he struggled to understand what was happening. Only later did Bertagna come to suspect that he was the victim of a gaping vulnerability that made his Google listings open to manipulation.
Small businesses are the usual targets. In a typical case in 2010, Buffalo-based Barbara Oliver & Co Jewelry saw its Google Maps listing changed to “permanently closed” at the exact same time that it was flooded with fake and highly unfavorable customer reviews.
The owner of the 'Serbian Crown' restaurant is taking Google to court. The eatery suffered a 75 percent drop in customers over weekends in early 2012, and for a long time, owner Rene Bertagna could not understand what was going on. Then, a regular diner mentioned Google Places had listed Serbian Crown as closed on weekends and Mondays.
...should Google be held liable for damages...
...should Google be compelled to invest more money to ensure the information they provide to consumers in local listings is accurate?
With their vast wealth, should Google be compelled to invest more money to ensure the information they provide to consumers in local listings is accurate?
The SERPs are like an opinion.
Can a newspaper be held liable because a reviewer didn't like his meal, movie or theater show?