Fellow local search expert Mike Blumenthal has discovered a massive spam attack on Google Maps. A company by the name of Tech Pros had spammed the Google Maps listings to be listed in every major and minor city in the United States for 'computer repair'!
What they didn't reckon with was that a local search and maps pro like Mike would be working in the computer repair biz and notice it! Well, by the time I'd found the post on Mike's blog, the word had already gotten around and Google had booted the offending company (and another one using the same exploit, which Mike also discovered) from its SERPs (that's Search Engine Results Pages to the non-jargon inclined amongst you).
So how did they do it? Google Maps offers businesses two ways to get listed. One of the two ways is a bulk upload of a list, but which goes unverified (due to the sheer volume). It's a gaping loophole in the way businesses get listed in Google Maps and it's frankly surprising it hasn't been discovered earlier! In any event, this was explained by a commenter on Mike's post.
Two final comments in passing: I referred to Mike as a fellow local seo expert... I'm flattering myself. Mike's way ahead of me in knowledge and as far as my readings have taken me, the leading mind in the field. Besides that, Wouldn't you agree that this is the sort of thing that makes you say: "Google, you suck!" Like the title says: when Google maps gets flipped on its head, it's really Spam el Goog!