See Betteridge’s Law of Headlines for the answer. For those looking to procrastinate, feel free to read on. Yesterday’s Google announcement about it’s new “algorithmic updates” review mark-up caused a fair amount of Local SEO Twittering and Slacking. Today, we’re introducing an algorithmic update to review snippets to ease implementation:– Clear set of schema types […]

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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