Tuesday June 25, 2019
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Google Maps adds traffic alerts feature to help commuters avoid congested routes

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Google has updated its maps by adding a new traffic alerts feature, which will give traffic status to the users while searching for directions on particular routes.

According to Techcrunch, this update actually brings with it explanations as to why various routes will be faster, alerts for a blockage or traffic jam up ahead and of course, alternate routes to each destination.

The users will also be informed about blockades or construction zones on the selected route.

Google maps will also tell the users about how long they will have to wait if they stay on a path where a traffic jam has popped up.

Techcrunch reported that the company also pulled data from Google Maps searches in the past to see what people would be getting up to this weekend. Top searches from last year include the beach, the cemetery, the gas station, restaurants, furniture stores, and ice cream shops.

Google also used last year’s data to determine the most popular getaway spots like San Francisco and New York.

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Google Maps Flooded by 11 Million False Listings; Fights to Remove Fake Business Profiles

Occasionally, business scammers take advantage of local listings to make a profit

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It disabled more than 150,000 user accounts that were found to be abusive - a 50 per cent increase from 2017. Pixabay

Admitting that fake business profiles were lurking people on Google Maps, the company has said it was working hard to remove bad actors before they could scam customers.

Reacting to media reports that Google Maps is flooded by about 11 million false listings and phone numbers that reroute to competing businesses, the company said local business scammers have been a thorn in the Internet’s side for over a decade.

“Over the years, we’ve added more than 200 million places to Google Maps and every month we connect people to businesses more than nine billion times, including more than one billion phone calls and three billion requests for directions,” Ethan Russell, Product Director, Google Maps, said in a blog post.

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Occasionally, business scammers take advantage of local listings to make a profit. Pixabay

Occasionally, business scammers take advantage of local listings to make a profit. They do things like charge business owners for services that are actually free, defraud customers by posing as real businesses, and impersonate real businesses to secure leads and then sell them.

“Even though fake business profiles are a small percentage of the overall business profiles on Google, local business scammers have been a thorn in the Internet’s side for over a decade,a said Russell.

The media reports last week claimed that majority of businesses on Google Maps that are not at their listed locations and the ones most prone to these scams include contractors, repairmen and car towing services.

According to Google, these scammers use a wide range of deceptive techniques to try to game its system a” as we shut them down, they change their techniques, and the cycle continues. “It’s a constant balancing act and wea¿re continually working on new and better ways to fight these scams using a variety of ever-evolving manual and automated systems,” said Google.

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Google Maps is flooded by about 11 million false listings and phone numbers that reroute to competing businesses. Pixabay

The company took took down more than three million fake business profiles last year — and more than 90 per cent of those business profiles were removed before a user could even see the profile. “Our internal systems were responsible for more than 85 percent of these removals. More than 250,000 of the fake business profiles we removed were reported to us by users,” said Google.

ALSO READ: Internet of Things: Children at Greater Risk in Digital Era

It disabled more than 150,000 user accounts that were found to be abusive – a 50 per cent increase from 2017. “This year, we’ve already introduced a new way to report suspicious business profiles and have started to apply refined techniques to business categories where we’re seeing an increase in fraud attempts,” the tech giant informed.

People can flag individual business profiles for removal. They can also report multiple business profiles at once via the business redressal form to kick off the review process. (IANS)