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Google Drop Down Suggestions

Google best friend or worst enemy?

Gr8 Example Of Google Drop Down Saying Scam For Scam’s Sake

with 5 comments

We wanted to do some testing with Google’s drop down suggestions and see how easily they can be influenced. So we took a url that did have a website and watched when we did a few things how this could effect the Google Suggestions. We used as it’s a clean url and added it to some of the positions we advertise on behalf of clients. scam

Date 28/09/2010

The question is how come “ scam” has now become a suggested search term? Is it because we have set up a company to scam people? Not that I’m aware of. Is it because we have competition who want to smear us? Maybe, but we never use that URL so doubt it. So how com Google has decided to put scam on the end of this url? Well we dug a bit deeper and here are a few more screenshots to show you what we found. In the top 100 results there was only 2 urls that had and scam on the same page. They were not even beside each in the same sentence or even paragraph.

Screen shot from google search for scam

Highlighted red areas show where the word scam is used.

So you can see from the results we don’t have the normal sites that set off the Google suggestions like or that effect many other companies. These are sites are a job board and a site checker which happens to have the word scam in it.

Site has scam on the page

This job post mentions if any posts are scam or spam please report

You can see from the image above the site has a flag system that includes “scam” and this is number 1 in the google results.

Macfee Site Checker

Again this page has scam mentioned on it but not in reference to being a scam.

So the following 98 results in Google do not have any mention of Scam and, so it’s clear that there is no reason to show scam in the suggestions unless people were typing it in. But here is the million dollar question, why would anyone type this in?


Google seems to have started to suggest “ scam” because 2 sites have scam on the same page. Now that Google has suggested it, people will now click on the suggestions because of human nature to check out anything negative. This does not effect us but it is effecting 1000′s of companies around the world, and many business owners are not even aware of it. Google should remove negative suggestions like this unless they have proof to back up a company is a scam. They can not use the line they only show suggestions of what people are searching, when quite clearly this example shows why would people search this unless Google was suggesting it.

Written by Phill Calvert

September 28th, 2010 at 4:03 am

5 Responses to 'Gr8 Example Of Google Drop Down Saying Scam For Scam’s Sake'

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  1. Thanks for posting this Phill – Google really needs to step up and address this issue as it’s negatively effecting every new startup/domain in existence.

    Any thoughts on creating a web-wide Google Suggest petition?

    Thank You

    9 Oct 10 at 11:07 am

  2. I’m 100% on board and 100% suffering from this exact same situation. This unfounded connection – in our case based on one post that is totally wrong – is now allowing all our customers ( GENERATED BY OUR ADVERTISING DOLLARS !) to see a selection that works against us.

    This is bullshit and needs to be remedied immediately…


    3 Nov 10 at 9:31 am

  3. So how did you get them to remove it? I just searched and its not showing scam. What happened???????? Is there now a way to change this crap?

    James G

    14 Dec 10 at 5:28 pm

  4. [...] like Gr8 Example Of Google Drop Drown Suggesting Scam for Scam’s Sake has been highlighting the problems companies had to endure both in reputation and loss of revenue [...]

  5. I have experience dealing with this issue for a client. I managed to remove the word “scam” appended to his name as a suggested drop down search. There are a number of factors involved and I recommend contacting google for one. Secondly, it takes a deep campaign of keyword content placement in the right sites for your industry.

    Apollo Theou

    23 Aug 11 at 8:43 am

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