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

yelp-buying-reviews

 

ReachLocal’s ReachCommerce local commerce platform now integrated with Yelp

ReachCommerce is a software solution for businesses that work in the home improvement field. For an example, now a plumber can manage scheduling, payment and customer interaction in one simple solution. This cool “all-in-one” software solution takes the home improvement category to a new level. The second cool part is a strategic partnership with Yelp to offer consumers the ability to book appointments with ReachCommerce businesses in real time, directly through their profiles on Yelp. Expect the Yelp integration in Q4.

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Apple Ditches YouTube & Google Maps In iOS 6 | Mobile Marketing | Breaking News

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The real bumps in the road may come with the introduction of Apple’s updated Maps app.

There are many new features getting introduced in the iOS 6 version of the Maps app, such asturn-by-turn navigation and a new “flyover” mode. But already many reviewers are missing the one thing that the new Maps doesn’t have: Google Maps data.

Instead, Apple’s mapping data is coming from vendors TomTom and Waze, with search data tied in to the Yelp location-based review service.

It’s expected that a new service, especially one replacing a highly robust geo-location dataset, is going to have some gaps in information. But it may be hard to explain that to phone users who suddenly can’t find businesses and other locations on their iPhones that were there before.

And the new dataset may not just be lacking a little – there could be big gaps. Waze CEO Noam Bardin distanced himself from the apparent coming storm when iOS hits the virtual shelves today, telling Business Insider, “Apple went out and partnered with the weakest player… They’re now coming out with the lowest, weakest data set and they’re competing against Google, which has the highest data set. What’s going to happen with the Apple maps, is that you’re literally not going to find things. When you do find them, they might be in the wrong place or position geographically. And if you do have it, the route to it may not be the optimal route.”

LOOKS LIKE YELP IS A BIG WINNER IN THIS MOVE FROM APPLE TO MOVE FURTHER AWAY FROM GOOGLE.

 

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

 

Google-Places
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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