A quote from Google’s director of research Peter Norvig in an article atTechnology Reviewabout how human reviewers assess Google’s search quality is starting to pick upplay on the web and will no doubt grow. Problem is, it’s not news. Still, Isuppose it’s interesting to those who are new to the space or missed theattention it got back in 2005. Some history follows. Back in June 2005, Henk van Essput out information about how Google uses temporary employees to reviewsearch results and rate the quality of them. He picked up a little hype bycalling it the “Google Secret Evaluation Lab,” while Google itself called it theGoogle Rater Hub and the Quality Rater program. Secret was overkill — Googleadvertised for quality raters publicly, so it was hardly kept secret. Here’s anexample from 2004.The program wasn’t secret — just little known. A human review program certainly wasn’t unprecedented. WebCrawler (rememberWebCrawler?) … [Read more...] about Google & Human Quality Reviews: Old News Returns
Employee yearly review
In 2007, I took some heat for pointing out that Google Trends showed declining searches for “yellow pages” while theorizing that this indicated reducing consumer interest in print and online YP sites. About four years later, we can now look back and see whether this turned out to be a valid prediction, and also reflect on what value YP may still have for advertisers. When I wrote that earlier article, I was aware that connecting a major shift in overall consumer behavior to a graphed trendline of searches in Google was a little loose in terms of causality. There are many reasons why people search for a particular phrase, and many reasons why cumulative searches for the phrase can rise or fall. (Not to mention, there is uncertainty about what the actual volume of searches is in the graphs since Google obscures volume amounts, and there can be error in assuming that Google users reflect the same search patterns of users who may search elsewhere, such as in Bing.) I had some … [Read more...] about Are Yellow Pages Toast? Four Years Later We Review Ad Value
Yelp is now showing “Consumer Alert” warning messages on the profile pages of eight businesses that it says it caught in a sting operation trying to buy reviews. As the New York Times reports, Yelp conducted a sting operation in which one of its employees pretended to be an “Elite” reviewer and responded to review solicitations on Craigslist. As the article explains: A pest control company offered $5 to anyone who would post a review that the business itself had written. The moving company was willing to pay $50 but wanted original copy. An appliance repair shop provided a start: “I really appreciate that the service tech was on time, the problem was solved, everything was cleaned up and he was very professional. Please add 50 or more words,” the shop suggested. It would pay $30. The highest payment was offered by a jewelry store in San Diego, which said it was forced to solicit reviews after others got away with doing it. “We have noticed … [Read more...] about After Sting Operation, Yelp Outs 8 Businesses That It Caught Trying To Buy Reviews
By now, everyone knows that online reviews can have a tremendous impact on consumers’ purchasing decisions. Ultimately, a single review — positive or negative — can tip the scale in favor of one company over another. No doubt, the power of reviews on Google+, Yelp, Angie’s List and other local search directories continues to mount. Major search and review sites weight online reviews very highly, and the online “word-of-mouth” credibility they offer local businesses is huge. Reviews are gold citations for local marketers, and without them, many businesses risk not being found in local search results. However, it hasn’t been easy for local businesses to generate reviews, particularly outside of the hospitality industry. Demonstrating the challenge, Saurage Research found that while 84 percent of Americans say consumer reviews influence their purchase decisions, only 28 percent have written reviews — often when they’ve had a negative … [Read more...] about 4 Go-Tos To Make Online Reviews Work For Your Business
Managing reviews and reputation isn’t a new discipline for search consultants and agencies to focus on, but it is gaining prominence as reviews take on more significance in the world of local search. Reviews also play a significant role in gaining visibility in search. Positive reviews can boost rankings within local search results; but more importantly, they provide standout performance once that page-one placement has been achieved. So with his growing importance of reviews, how do search marketers approach review management and just how important are reviews vs. other local signals? (e.g., citations). Expert Survey: Reviews & Reputation Management We (BrightLocal) wanted to learn how local search experts are handling reviews for their clients and how they construct their review strategies to help with local optimization. We reached out to 20 knowledgeable and respected local experts and asked them to participate in our survey. We’d like to give a big (BIG) thank you … [Read more...] about 85% Of SEOs Shoot For 1-5 New Local Reviews Per Month
Of the many different content management systems and web publishing platforms I’ve done SEO for, WordPress is the most popular. Blogs, company websites and web shops run on WordPress. Designers are fascinated by its versatility and the range of adaptations possible with it. Users love its simplicity and effectiveness. It’s a simple blogging system that needs little or no knowledge of coding, website design or other technical details. Nearly 25% of the world’s top 10 million websites — including TIME, Mashable, Marketing Land and Search Engine Land — are built on WordPress. But being easy to use, WordPress also makes it tempting to take on things you shouldn’t — or overlook/ignore important elements of SEO that can cause problems with business growth, success and profitability. This column isn’t a step-by-step guide to WordPress SEO, but will address some of the frequent questions I’m asked about SEO for WordPress websites. It will … [Read more...] about 10 WordPress SEO Questions That Took Me 10 Years To Answer!
Today is my 20th anniversary of covering search and search engines. To mark the occasion, I wanted to reflect on some of the big changes that I’ve seen over the past two decades of covering the space. 1. The search revolution Chances are, the first resource you turn to if you have a question about something is a search engine, whether it be Google, Siri, Bing, Yelp, others or a combination of services. This simple act, that you likely don’t think twice about, was a highly revolutionary change to how people sought information. Before popular consumer-focused search engines emerged just over 20 years ago, people got answers the same way they had for hundreds and thousands of years: largely by asking other people. If you needed an answer, you turned to people like a teacher, a professional, a best friend or a librarian. Sure, there were also tools to use: libraries, library catalogs, yellow pages and professional databases like LexisNexis. But for most people, getting an … [Read more...] about 10 big changes with search engines over my 20 years of covering them
Reviews are an undeniable internet phenomenon. A short 20 years ago, our opinions of businesses were based on advertising, our own experiences and those of friends and family. Now, just two decades later, 92 percent of consumers read online reviews for local businesses, and Googling a company’s name is SOP before doing business with them. Consumer appetite for reviews (and their willingness to write them) is increasing, and Google is weaving reviews into the organic search algorithm. Every company must face this new reputation reality in some way, and the focus for this article is on businesses who have to be able to address it at scale: multi-location companies and franchises. We work with many companies who have locations across the US, and through this consulting work, we’ve identified common patterns and trends that allow us to hit the ground running to help each improve their review situation. The following six steps will help a marketing manager at one of these … [Read more...] about Review improvement strategies for franchise and multi-location companies
It’s another month, so it’s time for another installment of Greg’s Soapbox. This time, we’re talking about reviews. Is it just me, or does it seem like we’re seeing more and more fake reviews out there lately? Sure, reviews are an important piece of the Local SEO puzzle, but they’re nowhere near a silver bullet. Why is it that so many companies are cheating when it comes to reviews? I’d at least understand if they had a problem with bad reviews that they were trying to bury, but it makes zero sense when it’s a company that gets great reviews anyway. Even worse, it seems that the vast majority of fake reviews are happening on Google. After this fall’s Possum update, it’s more important than ever before to spread your reviews around to third-party reviews sites. I was doing a mini-audit for a potential client last month (using the same template and system I shared in my Local SEO mini audit post here on Search Engine Land a few … [Read more...] about Let’s make 2017 the year of honest reviews!
Marketing has changed for local businesses. The big, yellow books of yesterday are all but dead and buried. Today, searching for a local business will most likely start on a mobile device, and the selection process goes far beyond a simple print advert with some clever sales copy. Customers can now tap into a rich tapestry of reviews, testimonials, case studies and social media to determine a business’s credibility. The local business landscape is more competitive than ever, and a positive reputation can be the key factor in standing out. Studies are now confirming that reviews are a trusted, critical component of generating business from local search with as many as 9 out of 10 users referring to reviews before contacting a local business. Rather than go over the process of generating reviews, I want to detail a mindset we have used with businesses to build credibility that goes way beyond simple reviews. Space Robots & Asteroid Mining How would you feel if you heard about a … [Read more...] about Online Reviews, Reputation And How To Become Super Credible