Mike Blumenthal just posed a question about this on G+ and I thought it was worthy of posting here.  The TL;DR answer is: 1. On G+, Yelp and most other review sites, the reviewer typically owns the content of the review (this is to shield the review sites from liability) while the review sites own […]

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Barbie Doll Stuck Up Butt X Ray

Source: The Internet Client Information Intake Research > Strategy Recommendations Site Audit > Upgrade NAP/Citation Audit > Fix Issues On Site Content Creation Off Site Content Creation Review Generation Link Research > Link Outreach Clean Up Link SPAM From Previous SEO Firms Rinse Repeat  

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Operation_Snowbird

NEW YORK — Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced that 19 companies had agreed to cease their practice of writing fake online reviews for businesses and to pay more than $350,000 in penalties. “Operation Clean Turf,” a year-long undercover investigation into the reputation management industry, the manipulation of consumer-review websites, and the practice of […]

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My post on Bizible’s new local search ranking factors study is now up at SearchEngineLand. You can also get more detail on the study and the results on Bizible’s blog. As mentioned in my SEL post, Bizible claims the study is scientifically valid and while in general I liked their approach, I can think of […]

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My latest post, 5 Tips For Responding To Negative Customer Reviews Online is now online at Search Engine Land.  I made this little chart for the post outlining some of the different types of review management tools offered by some of the top local review sites:

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Al Hanzal of Local Search Marketing-St. Paul pinged me with Do Incentives Hurt or Help in Getting Online Customer Reviews, a response to some of my posts on the subject. “If the customer or the public online sees your incentive as a direct payoff for completing a customer review, negative consequences can follow. Break the […]

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Since my customer reviews post on SEL seemed to be of interest, thought I would post this textbook example of how to respond to a negative review: Click on the image to enlarge or check out R.J. Hidson Photography’s Place Page: Remember, when responding to negative reviews your prospects are the real audience. Thanks to […]

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My latest Locals Only post is up on SearchEngineLand: 5 Tips to Get More Customer Reviews: An excerpt: Some tips for asking customer reviews: Don’t offer incentives. A percentage of your customers will do it for free. If you offer to pay your top brand ambassadors, it’s possible they will get turned off, which could […]

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Mike Blumenthal dissects Google Places’ latest redesign: According to Mike: “They include a strong call to action (review, upload photos) and clear sense of priorities as to what is important going forward – even coupons now have a higher visibility – more user generated content, more understanding of your social circles intent and a greater desire, […]

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I haven’t pontificated on last week’s changes that removed most of the third party data from displaying on Google Place Pages – I basically agree with David Mihm’s assessment of the situation – this is an interface update, not an algorithm update. This article by FT.com implies that Google removed 3rd party reviews from Place […]

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I have been hearing reports from a variety of sources that over the past few days more rich snippets have started to show up in Google Places. Using rich snippets on your site to get your content into Place Pages has been a hit-or-miss affair – mostly miss.  At SMXWest, Google’s Carter Maslan told me […]

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Mike Blumenthal has some concerns re Google Places’ new user review feeds: When was the last time you heard a reviewer ask for an RSS feed of their reviews? Well maybe some reviewer some place did… but then I suggest you follow Google’s instructions and go find it. Instead of attaching it to the obvious place in […]

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Lior Ron announced today that Google is dumping the HotPot brand for its local reviews system and rolling it into Google Places. It’s a good move and I am guessing an indicator of more product coherence from GOOG as a result of Larry Page becoming CEO. I was always confused by the HotPot brand. Most, […]

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During Yipit’s presentation on Group Buying Data at ILMEast this morning James Moran mentioned that a deal from DealFind for The Butchers on Yonge Street in Toronto could have been one of the most successful daily deal offers yet.  The Canadian company offered 69% off meat orders and sold over 11,000 orders which generated over […]

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Reviews of businesses on Groupon have been spotted on Google Place Pages since January: Last year I speculated that social local applications like Twitter & Foursquare could start to cause a lot of SEO problems for IYPs because they could easily replicate the IYP structure while providing a lot more unique content. Groupon reviews are […]

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UPDATE 11/14/12: According to commenter bob, this issue has been settled and was the result of some wayward affiliates of Legacy, not Legacy itself. Another company gets busted by the feds to the tune of $250,000 for using fake reviews to generate business: The Learn and Master Guitar program promoted by Legacy Learning and Smith […]

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We’ve got rats. There I said it. I opened up the door to my furnace and found a scattering of crusty little rat droppings. And to make matters worse I think the rats have mites as I woke up this morning with a big bite taken out of my posterior (TMI?). So who you gonna […]

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BreakThrough Radio, an enterprising music site in New York, sent over this woman-on-the-street video interviewing consumers and businesses about how social media impacts their decisions on where to eat, shop, etc.

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I thought it would be nice to end the year highlighting the blog’s top 10 most popular posts for the year. Thanks to all my readers, commenters, linkers, lurkers, clients and of course Google for making it a great year. Lifestyle Lift – Fake Reviews Will Cost You Real $ A 2009 post, but in […]

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A friend just recommended The 4 Hour Body by Timothy Ferris, author of The Four Hour Work Week, as a great holiday gift, so I went over to Amazon to check it out.  I must confess that while I was intrigued by the whole Four Hour Work Week concept and ensuing media blitz, I also […]

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This morning at the BIA Kelsey’s 2010 Interactive Local Media conference, we’ll be introducing a new partnership between Local SEO Guide and BK – a new local social consulting practice for BK clients.  I will be working with them as the Practice Director to help clients chart the social media waters  (Have no fear LocalSEOGuide […]

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No doubt you may have read about how some jerk used his bad reputation to rank better in Google and rip people off.  Today Google announced that they have tweaked their algorithm to demote businesses that have bad reputations.  And I quote: we developed an algorithmic solution which detects the merchant from the Times article […]

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I noticed “Hotpot” was trending on Twitter and discovered that tonight Google launched it’s response to Yelp and all of the other local social recommendation thingies.  Don’t have time for a pseudo-thoughtful post on the subject so I thought a few screenshots would do.  More later:

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While putting together the Top 10 Reviews Sites In Google Place Search report, we noticed what we thought were testimonials from a business’ website showing up in the reviews section of the result. See the below screenshot from a SERP for “Los Angeles Car Dealers“: In its FAQ on Rich Snippets, Google states that testimonials […]

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Readers of this collection of hypertext may recall my tale of woe in dealing with a San Jose Auto Repair shop who done me wrong last year.  The subtitle of that little missive was “A lesson in reputation management” and the subsequent flames that sprung up on various local reviews sites showed how rubbing someone […]

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image liberally appropriated from Roger Hollander Thanks to Vanessa Fox as always for eliciting grains of truth from Google.  At last week’s Google I/O conference Matt Cutts confirmed that there was an algo change at the beginning of May that will likely be affecting sites that generate a lot of long-tail traffic:  ”this is an […]

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I haven’t seen them live on Yelp yet because years ago Jeremy Stoppleman banned my email address, but that’s another story. The big question – are Facebook’s Like buttons complementary to reviews or do they cannibalize them?

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Last week Google launched a controversial new feature on local Place Pages – a list of nearby businesses that promotes local competitors on a business’ Place Page, even if that business has claimed their GLBC profile.  With this move Google has perhaps decided that the Yellow Pages industry is totally off their rockers – many […]

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I just sent an email out to a bunch of local seo types and saw this on the “message sent” confirmation screen:

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I am not the first blogger to claim that the NYT has some questionable editorial practices, but the use of links in a recent article by Claire Cain Miller on the how Lifestyle Lift got busted for faking online reviews caught my eye.

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