It has come up several times in discussions with my clients lately and I felt it needed to be addressed here so that those reading this do not fall victim. There are some individuals calling businesses and offering to register them on the maps section of Google and Yahoo for a considerable fee. I have heard for as much as $4,000.
The problem is that Google and Yahoo offer this as a free service and it only takes five minutes to set up. The individuals charging for this service are also asking businesses to acquire phone numbers and addresses that will trick the system into listing you high up on the map results. The search engines do not like this because the quality of the search results are corrupted. The more corrupt the search results become, the public will trust the search engine information less and the search engine's traffic will drop. This activity is on the search engines' radar and is being addressed. If you are approached by businesses engaged in this activity, Google would like you to report it at the following link http://maps.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=107528 .
Please let me know if you have been approached. How much did they want to charge? What did they promise you?