[Talk-us] SEO Damage to OSM

Clifford Snow clifford at snowandsnow.us
Wed Jul 5 23:04:07 UTC 2017

Can we curtail the discussion on which country is responsible? It doesn't
seem to help move us forward to tackling the problem.

I've met with two different SEO companies looking to add their clients to
OSM. It appears they didn't want to go through the import process nor did
they start adding companies. That's the good news. One described how easy
it was to upload to Google, Foresquare, Yahoo, Bing, and Apple. Just need a
csv spreadsheet using the proper business classification for the business.
(Each of the search companies have different requirement for
classification.) The result is when you search for these companies
locations, they are often geocoded to the street since there isn't an exact

SEO want to add their clients to OSM because they think it will increase
Page Ranking. I was told that OSM has a very high Authority rank which
means that their client webiste benefits from being on OSM. What they don't
realize is when we display their URL  a ref=nofollow tag which tells the
search engines not to count that link when determining Page Rank. As was
pointed out to me, since we make our data available to others, they many
not be following our nofollow policy.

The easy answer to stop SEO companies from spamming is to remove the
website URL tag. Of course that's not going to fly.

I suggest we encourage users of OSM data to also use the nofollow tag. If
you are using OSM data, check to see how the url is presented.


OpenStreetMap: Maps with a human touch
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