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Pierre Zarokian of Submit Express speaks at Pubcon

Pubcon , which takes place during October 5-8th in Las Vegas, is the largest gathering of search marketing professionals in North America. Its speakers represent some of the biggest brands and names in marketing, including names like Disney and Guy Kawasaki. On the subject of reputation management, veteran search marketing professional and CEO of Reputation Stars and Submit Express , Pierre Zarokian will cover how to handle negative reviews on Yelp. Yelp has become the first point of contact many consumers use when they search for local businesses. While unethical, it’s not uncommon for one business to practice negative SEO in the form of leaving poor reviews on a competitor’s website. While Yelp has done some work cracking down on this behavior, it’s also been revealed that Yelp has some unflattering practices with regards to selling ads. Those who refuse to pay say negative reviews begin to appear, sometimes in greater numbers than before.

Pierre Zarokian interveiw with Search Engine Journal

Pierre Zarokian interview by Search Engine Journal about Yelp

Recently Pierre Zarokian, our CEO, wrote an article for Search Engine Journal about how a Restaurant with negative reviews decided to take on Yelp and just ask everyone to leave them negative reviews in return for food discounts. When Yelp was first conceived, the idea was to find local hot spots based on the tastes of your friends. Yelp’s founders had hoped they could create a network of reviews that would help to source such lists. The Yelp of yesterday doesn’t face the same problems that the massive network of today faces. Transparency Problems Yelp is the winner of a recent appeals case that gives the company rights to order reviews posted on its page as it pleases. Yelp has argued that it requires this right in order to perform its basic service, namely to offer trustworthy reviews. It argues that the star rating system benefits restaurants, which see a significantly larger bump in revenue for each star increase in ratings. The conflict of interest appears when Yelp sales people try to sell businesses higher visibility an more customers through advertising. This creates a transparency problem for the company

Businesses Complain: Yelp is Forcing us to Pay for Positivity

Yelp’s FAQ page explicitly states that a user is unable to pay the company in order to preserve a pristine reputation. Why then is the FTC revealing 2,000 complaints that allege the company has been trying to sell exactly that idea? Yelp may say they separate the content and revenue side of the business, but they aren’t clear on what that means for businesses. Several sources from businesses who have spoken to Yelp’s sales team claim that Yelp has used their competitors to try and sell advertising space, threatening them with competition on their page if they refuse to pay. Meanwhile, consumers have privacy concerns as Yelp faces court battles over alleged falsified reviews.

Yelp Ordered to Surrender User Data by Virginia Court

A new ruling from the Virginia Court of Appeals is forcing Yelp to reveal the names of seven anonymous users that left bad reviews of a carpet care business. The ruling looks at the legitimacy of online reviews that cannot be verified through traditional means. Yelp currently allows users full posting rights as anonymous, believing that everyone should have the right to express their opinions without identifying themselves personally. The courts, apparently, disagree. Drawing on a pre-existing statute, the Virginia court ruled that the reviews presented significant enough risk to the business that the owner was justified in requesting the user data. This case falls under well defined laws in the state of Virginia, but the rest of the US is still reeling from the verdict. Will this ruling forever jeopardize a user’s right to post a negative review of a business anonymously

Business Owners Rise Against Yelp Panel in Hollywood

A recent article from the LA Times reports the growing dissatisfaction with Yelp, a popular review site for restaurants, tradesmen, and local businesses. Yelp, Inc. held a panel of three reviewers and two business owners at the Pantages Theatre on Tuesday in Los Angeles, California. The meeting was held in an effort to explore misconceptions surrounding the company and to build relationships with business owners. However, the discussion quickly degenerated into an emotionally ridden criticism of the website’s aggressive advertising practices. One business owner, Craig Martin of Cafe 50′s in West Los Angeles, told the panel, “I have one-star reviews for my diner from people that have never walked into the place

Google to Glass Contest Participants: Pay Up

Interested in being a Google Glass “Explorer” and early adopter? Submit your application to the contest going on right now. Folks of voting age, and living in the United States, have until February 27 to participate in the Google Glass competition. To be a contestant, there is a social media application to submit — only through Google+ or Twitter, no Facebook applications accepted! — and $1,500, plus tax, to pay.

How to effectively write a SEO copy

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is rapidly gaining popularity as an effective marketing tool. There are many companies that offer SEO services and …