Search Engine Optimization Destructive Edits

Posted by Glassman on 5 February 2018 in English (English)

Normally SEO firms are accused of adding garbage to OSM. The worst offender, what I refer to as "SEO Updated" is a prolific firm adding poorly tagged companies. Fro the week of Jan 28th through February 3rd, SEO Updated added 27 businesses. The only good news it that they only seem to operate on weekdays. I believe DWG is fully aware of their operation.

Another offender came to my attention. This SEO firm, Milestone Inc. in Santa Clara, CA. is not only adding poorly tagged companies but they are deleting existing building outlines with some of the same information they are adding, but only as a node. Like SEO Updated, each business has their own user name in almost the exact same format. Another similarity, they don't respond to changeset comments or messages.

Their Operations VP has not responded to my messages nor has one of their customers, Best Western Hotels. So today I'm going on Twitter to shame them into responding. I could use your help. Please retweet or post your own to @milestonemktg. Please use the hashtag #DestructiveSEOedits.


Comment from nickjohnston on 6 February 2018 at 10:23

On the subject of Best Western, could someone with clout contact them and suggest that they follow the good example of fellow hotel chain Hilton and manage their own OpenStreetMap presence? Both Best Western and their customers would benefit :)

Comment from Nakaner on 6 February 2018 at 19:09

@Glassman Could you please add links to changesets (as "proofs")?

I think that SEO companies who don't use proper tagging or even delete existing data as described by you shold not be treated as a normal newbie. It is their job and they are paid for by their customers to do a good job. If they are unable to introduce themselves to OSM in advance and learn how our project works, a full revert is the right response. This might sound harsh but that's the lesson they will quickly learn.

There is one main difference between other commercial contributors to OSM and SEO companies. The "normal" companies use the contributed data themselves. It is in their own interest that OSM becomes better. However, a SEO company gets paid one single time to enter their customers into a few dozens of databases, OSM is one of them.

Comment from Glassman on 7 February 2018 at 00:09

@nickjohnson - I wasn't aware of the Hilton account. I sent them a PM asking for more information about what they are doing. If we could convince other business to have a similar function I think OSM would be better off.

Comment from Glassman on 7 February 2018 at 00:27

@Nakaner - This changeset by travelodgeseattlecenter removed the building with associated tags and added in a node with minimal tags - certainly not tourism=hotel. They do include a lengthy description=* tag. I don't complain too much about them, they are often helpful when they don't properly tag the business.

Below is a list from that period that we put up for review on the US Slack. Every case where an existing building existed, they removed them.

  • User_name Changeset Id
  • basslake 55319097
  • pheasantrun 55319561
  • pheasantrun 55319614
  • wyndhamgardenchinatownnyc 55679109
  • battlegroundbestwesterninn 55679734
  • themonarchhotel 55679916
  • carmelbestwestern 55680095
  • hiesalinas 55680260
  • innatwilmington 55680585
  • holidaynorwichhotel 55681103
  • rosedaleinn 55682003
  • innatsantafe 55682693
  • elpuebloinn 55683031
  • williamsburgsuiteshotel 55683793
  • fairfaxvahotel 55705164
  • grandatlantahyatt 55706254
  • halfmilefarm 55707197
  • 200main 55707346
  • seattledowntownhousehyatt 55707650
  • villabound 55707870
  • holstonhousenashvillehyatt 55713165

Comment from Paul Johnson on 11 February 2018 at 17:26

Not on Twitter, but I did the equivalent on G+.

Comment from freebeer on 13 February 2018 at 14:23

There is 0ne n0de f0r which I 0pened a bug-rep0rt I repeatedly disc0ver. I hesitated t0 revert it as 0ther users take the care t0 merge the inf0 fr0m the n0de, 0ften including the spammy descripti0n field, where 0nly the service 0f Upgraded Cust0mer Lives catches my interest.

I w0uld g0 n0 further than an flat revert, as Na... er, Michael suggests. N0 changeset discussi0n. Which is why I leave P0G0 city-wide parks, neighb0urh00d-wide lakes, driveway rivers, backyard v0lcan0es, glaciers, and 0bscure religi0ns t0 m0re level-headed 0SMlers. N0 benefit t0 the SE0 wh0 d0esn't give a rat's if they destr0y 0SM t0 make a quick buck, 0r the business wh0 sh0uld kn0w better than t0 patr0nise such scumbags while s0me 0f us w0nder where 0ur next meal c0mes fr0m 0r if I sh0uld c0llect empty cans and b0ttles f0r a new kezb0ard instead.

I write as an embittered veteran 0f the spam wars, a milli0n spams fl00ding in f0ll0wed by a milli0n cancels sec0nds later, and hundreds 0f tight-knit c0mmunities destr0yed. I take that appr0ach t0 the advert N0tes bug-rep0rts as well, trying t0 clean them up where n0b0dy has cared either.

Just an advance warning if a revert flies past 0ne day which s0me0ne else feels sh0uld have been handled differently.

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