In New Zealand, a florist was found guilty of hijacking the Google Local listings of her competitors.
The thing that caught my eye about this Search Engine Journal article is that some hijackers can be from other countries. In other words, it doesn’t have to be your competitor across the street. It can be anyone with less than honorable intentions from anywhere in the world.
To stop the hijackers before they can do you any damage, you should first claim your local business listing on Google Local, Bing, Yahoo!, and Ask.com to start. You might as well claim it at Yelp while you’re at it. And if you have the time, or you can pay a reasonable fee to have someone do it for you, submit your local small business website to the many directories that are out there online (some of them have been online for years).
By listing your local business on these websites, you are more likely to attract more local business through your website. You can have photos, videos, your business location and phone number all listed in these listings and many of them will also publish your web address. There’s no reason not to do it and if you don’t then someone else will and that will cause you many nightmares. Stop the nightmares before they start and stop the hijackers.