Tit for Tat Developments @ Yelp | Reputation Management | Internet Marketing News

1/9/2014

In what the Washington Times is calling a decision “that could reshape the rules for online consumer reviews,” a Virginia court has ruled that Yelp must identify seven anonymous reviewers who left negative reviews for a carpet-cleaning business. In turn, the carpet-cleaning business will then be allowed to sue the Yelpers for defamation.

“We are disappointed that the Virginia Court of Appeals has issued a ruling that fails to adequately protect free speech rights on the internet, and which allows businesses to seek personal details about website users — without any evidence of wrongdoing — in efforts to silence online critics,” Yelp spokesman Vince Sollitto said in a statement. “Other states require that plaintiffs lay out actual facts before such information is allowed to be obtained, and have adopted strong protections in order to prevent online speech from being stifled by those upset with what has been said. We continue to urge Virginia to do the same.”

Source info:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jan/8/court-rules-yelp-website-must-identify-seven-negat/

http://insidescoopsf.sfgate.com/blog/2014/01/09/court-orders-yelp-to-reveal-anonymous-reviewers/

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1/14/14

Blogger Matt McGee writes “It’s been almost a year and a half since Yelp began issuing Consumer Alerts when a business on its site has been caught trying to get fake reviews; but after a cautious start, that program appears to be turning up the heat.”

This comes after news of an interview from the UK telegraph publication where Yelp chief executive Jeremy Stoppelman explains how the company is catching local businesses that pay for fake reviews red handed.

Source info:

http://searchengineland.com/yelp-turns-up-the-heat-285-consumer-alerts-issued-over-fake-reviews-181706

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/10571494/Yelp-CEO-how-sting-operations-are-cleaning-up-reviews-on-the-web.html

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Google Plus Local Business Pages Are Here | How to Set Up & Optimize | Local SEO Tips

 

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Google Plus officially launched business Pages this week, after several months of offering only personal Profiles on the social platform. Want to create and optimize a Google Plus Page for your local business? Here’s what you need to know, including the difference between Pages and Profiles, how to set up your Page, how to manage your Page, and how to manage your circles.

How Pages Differ from Profiles

First and foremost, Google Plus Pages are different from Profiles because they are specifically designed for non-human entities. You can create a Page in the following types of categories: Local Business or Place; Product or Brand; Company, Institution or Organization; Arts, Entertainment or Sports; Other.

Pages are marked by a distinct square-shaped, watermark both on the Page itself and in search results if you are looking for a Page directly. You will also notice on the sidebar of Pages the ability to +1 and share the Page, whereas in a personal Profile, these options aren’t available.

How to Set Up Your Local Business Page

To get started, go to: https://plus.google.com/pages/create. You will need a Google Plus Profile to complete this process. That’s because you will use your personal Profile to manage your Brand Page. Learn more about setting up a personal Profile to promote your local business.

Next, from Create a Page on Google+, you will select your business type. If you are marketing your business to local customers online, you’ll want to select “Local Business or Place” rather than the Product, Brand, or Company options, because those options do not have specific data formats to let you share localized information like your business phone number, address, and hours of operation.

Get the full scoop on how to optimize and manage your page by checking out our blog article How to Set Up & Optimize Google Plus Local Business Pages

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1) Select Your Phone Number: If you’re like many businesses, you may have several phone numbers. The one you want to add here is whichever phone number you have associated with your business’ Google Place Page. This will help increase your number of citations to your Page and is also important for the next step.

2) Select Your Business Place: If your phone number is affiliated with your claimed Google Places Page, your business should show up in the next step, including business address. If it isn’t, you’ll need to add your business to Google, following the dialog boxes provided under the “Not found?” section.

3) Identify Your Business Category: Next, you will select the category for you Page. Make sure to select the best fit for your business type here, because this also tells Google important information about your business.

4) Create Your Page: Once you’ve finalized all this information, you’ll need to agree to the terms and conditions and click “Create.” This will generate your Google Plus Page.

5) Upload Your Page Image: Next, you will want to upload a business profile image. This will require you to crop your image into a square shape, so you may want to request a designer to optimize your image to display in a square area if it is not already.

6) Get the Word Out. At this point, you can share with your personal account’s followers that you have created a Google Plus Page. However, if you choose not to share right now, you will be able to go back in and share your Page from your personal Profile at a later time.

7) Customize Your Page: To customize your business Page, select from top left hand side of your navigation bar the “Profile” icon, which is in the shape of a silhouette surrounded by a circle. Then, click the “About” tab of your profile and select “Edit Profile.” When in edit mode, you will notice a red bar on your profile instructing you to click on different parts of your profile to edit them. Currently, you have the option to optimize the following fields on your Google Plus Page About tab: introduction, hours, website, contact info, and recommended links. Here’s how top optimize these elements of your Page:

A) Customize Your Business Tagline: Underneath your business name, you have the ability to customize your business tagline. To optimize this for search, try using a formula that includes your location as well as your primary business keyword (but not your business name). For example, local business BBQ Post 401 could use the tagline: “Fredericksburg’s Best Pit Barbeque.”

B) Optimize Your Introduction: Start by creating an optimized introduction about your business. Make sure to write it so it best describes your business to readers, and also use your most important local keywords in this copy, hyperlinking one or two important keywords to your business website.

C) Add Business Hours: Next, add in your business hours. Make sure these are consistent with your actual hours of operation, and check that this is updated on your Google Places Page as well.

D) List Your Website: Your business may have a website, as well as a blog, social profiles, and local listings. So, what should you pick for your website listing? For now, your best bet is to be consistent with whatever is listed on your Google Places Page.

E) Link to Relevant Profiles and Sites: On the sidebar of this page, you can add “Recommended Links.” This is where you will want to add your business blog, social profiles, local listings and review sites you want to promote. To optimize each of these, use the following format: “Business Name + Site Name” For example, to link to your business Facebook Page, in the Label section, write “Business Name Twitter,” and then in the next box, list your Page’s unique URL.

F) Add 5 Pictures to Your Page: Finally, go to the top of the page and click the section “Add some photos here,” and then upload five photos that best showcase the life of your brand. These will remain on the photo strip of your page until you remove them, so select photos and images that will best showcase the life of your business, like product, location and employee photos or even logos of awards your business has won.

Once you are finished, click “Done editing,” which will allow you to use Google Plus as your Page.

Get the full scoop on how to optimize and manage your page by checking out our blog article How to Set Up & Optimize Google Plus Local Business Pages

 

Social Media Boxes and Like buttons 101 | What does this do and why do I need it?

This is your NFL playbook strategy on what the buttons do and why you need them. A lot of my clients have had some confusion on what types of social media links they need to add on their website. Is it a like box? or a share box ? or what?. There are primarily 3 categories of boxes. links, call to action(like/follow) and share/viral.

A picture is worth 1000 words enjoy 😉

San Jose - ReachLocal - Internet Marketing Consultant - Talal Melhem, San Jose, CA 2011-09-08 16-25-34

 

Google Analytics Upgrade : Multi-Channel Funnel Tool | Google News

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Advanced marketing plans encompass many facets including display banner /remarketing /  content article marketing / social media /organic / pay per click. Google Analytics can now measure some of these efforts.

As the video analogy explains, measuring results of a marketing campaign is not just who made the score, but what players on the team contributed and assisted.

Talal Melhem ReachLocal San Jose Internet Marketing Consultant

 

 

Introducing Multi-Channel Funnels: discover untapped opportunities in your conversion path

“When a customer buys or converts on your site, most conversion tracking tools credit the most recent link or ad clicked. In reality though, customers research, compare and make purchase decisions via multiple touch points across multiple channels. So marketers that measure return solely on the last channel that a customer touches before conversion are getting an incomplete picture, and potentially missing out on important opportunities to reach their customers.”

 

What Are The 20 Most Expensive Keyword Categories In Google AdWords?

The top twenty keyword categories that demanded the highest costs per click are:

1. Insurance (example keyword: “auto insurance price quotes”)
2. Loans (example keyword: “consolidate graduate student loans”)
3. Mortgage (example keyword: “refinanced second mortgages”)
4. Attorney (example keyword: “personal injury attorney”)
5. Credit (example keyword: “home equity line of credit”)
6. Lawyer
7. Donate
8. Degree
9. Hosting
10. Claim
11. Conference Call
12. Trading
13. Software
14. Recovery
15. Transfer
16. Gas/Electricity
17. Classes
18. Rehab
19. Treatment
20. Cord Blood

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Google Places Makes a Change , Bye Bye 3rd Party Review Sites! Hello Google Reviews

 

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How it was before and what has changed short and sweet. BEFORE google places took website reviews from online websites such as yelp, citysearch, insider pages, demandforce, kudzo, yahoo, and of course google reviews. It then showed a star rating and summed up the total.. NOW it only shows the total and star rating for google reviews.

How this changes the game of online marketing?

(a) a bad yelp review won’t hurt your star rating on google places.

(b) having 100 reviews from demandforce is not boosting your overall reviews #.

(c) companies that only focus on generating reviews for you on they’re website to increase your star rating now have no purpose.

It is important to mention however that even though the star rating algorithm has changed, building a web presence is as valuable as ever. Having reviews on all these sites are great and google did not change ranking. What this means is that  although your 100 reviews are not totally they are still effecting if you show up in 1st page of google places aka the 7-pack A-G listings.

 

For reference here is a news article from Tech Crunch:

http://techcrunch.com/2011/07/21/google-places-stops-stealing-reviews/

“Google Places looks different. It is cleaner, and there is a much bigger emphasis on user reviews and photos. And not just any reviews from all over the Web, but reviews written by Google users themselves. This should be a welcome change to third-party sources of reviews like Yelp and TripAdviser who have long complained that Google was building Google Places on the backs of their content while at the same time trying to replace them. Now Google Places no longer shows those reviews on Places pages for a specific venue, nor does it count them in the total number of reviews which it shows for each place. Instead, it links to the reviews from sites like Yelp, Zagat, and Citysearch separately and breaks out total review counts for each site. For instance, the Google Places page for Paxti’s Chicago Pizza in San Francisco went from 1,110 reviews to 171 reviews after the non-Google reviews were stripped out.”

 

How to deal with negative reviews about your business | Online Reputation | Review Sites

I have seen business owners so consumed over negative reviews they lose attention to doing what they need to be doing.. running they’re business. A negative review can consume and devour the mind of a business owner, especially one that take great pride in thier work. Here are the top 3 tips to get help with a possible fake negative review.

  1. Never comment or reply to point out that it’s a fake complaint. Even if it is – and even if you have proof. It’ll only make you seem argumentative and it creates doubt and distrust. Remember: how you conduct yourself professionally online reflects on your business, it is important to focus the attention away from the negative comment and towards a solution to make things right;  that’s going to win over new customers in the end.
  2. Try to flag the review so that website administrator can remove it. Sites like Yelp and Google’s Place Pages offer a way for users to flag reviews as inappropriate. This process is not immediate, however, and won’t guarantee that a flagged review will get removed or even filtered out of view going forward. This approach is more “crossed fingers” than “set in stone,” but it has a better chance of working if the review in question contains profanity, personal attacks, or is generally off-topic and unprofessional.
  3. Rally your fans, followers and favorite customers to flood sites with positivity. Remember, it’sagainst FTC Guidelines to offer any financial incentive in exchange for online reviews. But it’s well within your right to ask your loyal customers and advocates to post their own reviews out of the kindness of their hearts. When it comes to putting online reviews into context (LifeHacker andThe Consumerist both have great guides on this), both quality and quantity come into play. So encourage your happy customers to share their authentic experiences in clear, appropriate language to help balance the conversation about your business reputation online.

Want to learn more? give me a call. Talal

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Google+ Vs. Facebook | Video Chat Comparison | News Article

“Video chat is turning out to be a popular feature for social networking; we tried out both Facebook’s new Video Calling and Google+ Hangout.”

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9218244/Hands_on_Facebook_Video_Calling_vs._Google_Hangout

Facebook Video Calling

“Facebook’s new Video Calling service is powered by Skype; perhaps because of that, it’s simple and straightforward to use. You’ll first need to download a plug-in by going to www.facebook.com/videocalling, clicking on the Get Started button, then on the Setup button. At that point, you’ll download and install a Java plug-in.”

Google+ Hangout

“When more than two people participate in a Hangout, the large image shows whoever is talking — Hangout chooses which person will be center stage depending on audio feedback. If several people talk at the same time, the video goes back and forth from one to another.”

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+1 your website | How To Add The +1 Button to your homepage | Social Media Marketing

+1 your website Add +1 to your pages to help your site stand out +1 buttons let people who love your content recommend it on Google search.

Time to add this next to your Facebook Twitter and Youtube Logos. It’s gonna be big!

 

 

Retarget Website Visitors with ReachRemarketing | How it Works Video

Get the most out of your marketing investments with ReachRemarketing which targets previous visitors to your website increasing top of mind awareness. Make your business seem bigger and broader. This is extremely cost effective and gets your potential customers thinking about you again. For people that “tune out” display advertising this method catchs thier attention from the simple fact that they had enough interest before to go to your website.