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Google Puts Reviews for Businesses in One Spot

Google is trying to help business owners get a grip on their reviews which can be the lifeblood of many SMBs.

On the Google and Your Business blog we get

Today, we’re introducing Reviews in Google Places for Business. Now you can learn what your customers are saying about your business on Google and across the web, in one place. If you have a verified business listing, you will now see your customer ratings and reviews in the easy-to-use review inbox.

Reviews from Google in One Place

It’s cool and it’s easy. But does the around the web review part include Yelp? Don’t hold your breath.

Infographic: The Definitve Local Review Site Chart

Local reviews are the lifeblood of many in the restaurant business and they are becoming increasingly important to businesses of all types who serve a local clientele.

This chart put together by LocalVisibilitySystem.com does a great job of helping show the ins and outs of a ecosystem that can be difficult to manage. (Click the image to enlarge)

Local Review Site Chart

What is your experience with local reviews as an SEO or a business owner? Good? Frustrating? Something else?

(Hat tip to MP’s own Andy Beal for this great piece of data)

Study Shows an Increase in Local Competition Encourages Negative Review Fraud on Yelp

grand-opening21

Yelp knows they have a problem with fake reviews. They say they have it under control thanks to a sophisticated filter system which removes around 25% of all incoming reviews. But a new university study called “Fake it Till You Make It” (a weird name for a University study but whatever. . . ) pretty much says that as long as Yelp exists there will be fraud – not because people are mean and unethical – but because the incentive to get a high rating is worth the risk.

In addition to a study of positive fake reviews, Boston University’s Georgios Zervas and Michael Luca of the Harvard Business School studied incidents of negative review posting against competitors.

eBay Solidifies eCommerce Position with a Local Mobile Push

ebay nowWhen eBay launched as a marketplace for one-offs and collectibles, people thought it would fizzle as fast as a dud firework. Eighteen years later, they site has grown to be a major force in the eCommerce world. Still, stocks fell 6% today after the company predicted a sluggish holiday season due in part to that nasty old government shutdown.

Fear not – eBay shall bounce back (and soon I hope because my eBay sales are suffering!) Check out these numbers from yesterday’s conference call:

  • 137 million active accounts globally
  • In Q3, eBay’s core Gross Merchandise Volume grew 12% over the prior year.
  • 2.4 million new users acquired through mobile in Q3.
  • Fixed-priced listings accounted for 71% of GMV globally and more than half of all U.S. transactions shipped free in Q3. (There’s that free shipping thing! Customers love it.)

Bing Launches Linked-Offers: Use Your Credit Card, Get a Deal

The downside to most coupons is that you have to have them to use them. Logical, I know, but at least a few times a month I end up at a store or restaurant when the coupon for the establishment is at home on my desk. It makes me crazy but Bing is here to help.

Bing is currently testing a new program called Card-Linked offers in Seattle, Washington. The consumer signs up for the program, lists their credit card and debit card numbers, then a deal is automatically applied when they meet the discount conditions.

bing offers linked cardsHere’s a deal for 10% off a meal at Blue Ginger Korean Grill & Sushi in Bellevue. To get this deal, you only have to show up at the restaurant, eat, then pay with your linked card.

Hide and Seek: 30 Percent of Adults Use Social Location Tagging

Bonjour! I’m writing this post from a cafe near the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. I can prove it:

Paris France
See. Twitter says I’m in Paris. And if you see it on the internet it must be true, right?

Come closer and I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’m not in Paris. I’m in Southern California but I found these interesting stats about social location tagging and decided to take the system for a test drive. Turns out you can put anything you want in that space and Twitter accepts it even though my IP address clearly shows where I am.

Waze Traffic Reports Integrated In Google Maps

waze_incidentThe maps wars drag on and Google is doing all that it can to hold off any true competitors (read: Apple Maps).

The latest update to Maps is the use of Waze traffic data to help users navigate their way around difficult traffic situations.

The Google LatLong / Maps blog tells us

Users of Google Maps for Mobile will now benefit from real time incident reports from Waze users. This means when Wazers report accidents, construction, road closures and more on Waze, the updates will also appear on the Google Maps app for Android and iOS in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Germany, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Switzerland, UK and the US

Waze users are not required to move over to Google Maps to get that functionality either as new features come to Waze itself