Google Maps is a fantastic tool that will help millions of people today find their way close to the world. Some would be actually dropped devoid of it.
Commonly talking, Maps is utilised to navigate the true earth. Having said that, spammers are also utilizing it to guidebook prospective pirates on the Internet.
This potential customers to somewhat strange results. For instance, this week 1 of our queries guided us to a person-created Google Map that marked a location in the center of New Delhi, India.
Even though it is no magic formula that there are hundreds of thousands of pirates in the Asian place, it was still a bit of a surprise to see the spot tagged as “GTA V Totally free Obtain For Personal computer Entire Model Set up+Torrents”
Beneath is a screenshot on the map, which one-way links to a now-removed web site at hellboundgamers.com. It also reveals that these backlinks can crank out really a good deal of targeted visitors, with this distinct map acquiring been considered much more than 12,000 instances.
When we investigated further more, we discovered dozens of these pirates ‘treasures’ scattered about Google Maps. Some pinpoint specific locations, many others just load a generic map. What they all have in frequent is that they are filled with pirate search phrases.
For case in point, just one Google Maps layer targets potential pirates of the film “Boy Erased.” It is advertised with a bunch of linked phrases, these types of as ‘Full Motion picture On line Boy Erased,’ ‘Online No cost Observe Boy Erased on the internet totally free HDQ,’ ‘Boy Erased look at on the internet cost-free 1080P,’ to identify a couple.
Some inbound links are a lot more nefarious than some others. The trick can be utilized by pirates to attract awareness to their sites, but extra normally it is abused by scammers who url to some form of paysite, where by men and women need to by no means depart their credit card particulars.
That begs the query of how several individuals who seen these inbound links fell into a lure?
The scammers use the My Maps trick mainly because these search benefits are much more possible to rank well. Google Maps is noticed as a trustworthy internet site, as opposed to a random website page exactly where inbound links are spammed.
This issue is not entirely new possibly. We signaled equivalent concerns in the past and Google is unquestionably mindful of them way too. As is generally the situation with person-generated material, nonetheless, they rely on copyright holders to warn them.
When we appear at Google’s been given takedown notices described by Lumen, we see that quite a few of these My Maps backlinks have been noted by copyright holders. Even so, that doesn’t prevent scammers and spammers from hiding new ‘treasures’ on Google Maps.
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Written by David Minister
By David Minister