Feb 172013


This story is from a few months ago, but it’s worth repeating here, given its relevance to local listings:
CBS News: Contractor Suing Homeowner Over Negative Yelp and Angie’s List Reviews

The Story:
Unhappy with the home remodeling service provided by a contractor, a Virginia homeowner posted negative reviews about the workmanship on multiple review sites, including Yelp and Angie’s List. However, she went beyond direct complaints and suggested that some of her jewelry was also stolen. The contractor was not happy with the reviews and sued, claiming defamation and damages of over $300,000 in lost business. The case is still pending, though the contractor won the first round, with a judge ordering the removal of allegations of theft and comments about legal action.

Our Geek Analysis:
For local businesses, this is a reminder of the importance of customer reviews: Positive customer reviews are golden but negative reviews can have a serious and lasting impact. In fact, the contractor in this case alleges that just two negative reviews from this one customer cost him over $300,000 in lost business. That’s quite an impact.

If you are a customer, keep in mind that there are limits to the First Amendment when it comes to writing a review of a business. If you have a complaint, we recommend first contacting the business to try to get things fixed. If that doesn’t work, any review posted online should stick to the facts while clearly labelling any opinions as being an opinion.

Jan 192013

Yelp-LogoWall Street Journal article
“Is it Time Local Site Called for Yelp?” (WSJ, 18JAN13)
(also discussed on this WSJ Marketbeat Blog), had a number of interesting insights about local search-and-reviews-firm Yelp and the rapidly-changing local search market:

Shares of Yelp have fallen about 7% since Facebook unveiled its new “Graph Search” tool on Tuesday.  While it may take time to build sufficient depth of content, investors see Facebook’s new capabilities as a potential local search tool.

Google Places is, by far, the biggest threat to Yelp.  While Yelp’s mobile app is used on roughly eight million devices a month, Google Maps was downloaded by more than 10 million iPhone users in the first two days it was available.  According to analysts: “That is a concern as, in the long run, mobile devices will be the most important platform for local content.

– Yelp’s speciality is its database of reviews, with 61% in just two categories, shopping and restaurants.  Google, which has millions of business listings like Yelp, along with great mapping technology, took a big step to catch up in reviews with its 2011 purchase of Zagat Survey.


Our Geek Analysis: Yelp remains a big and important local listing directory, though, unless your business is a restaurant or local retail store, you should first focus on getting local listing presence on Google Places (and Bing and Yahoo).  This will enable you to piggy-back on the Google Maps ubiquity on mobile devices.


Jan 072013
Google Maps in a Dashboard

Google Maps in a Dashboard

We’ve been talking with clients about the growing importance of providing high visibility of their business within local listing directories such as Google Places, Bing, and Yahoo maps.

Now, a top ranking in Google Places is about to become even more relevant:
This past week, Google announced that Hyundai, maker of the Hyundai and Kia brands, will soon add Google Maps technology to car dashboards.  Hyundai will join Audi, Daimler, and Tesla in offering integrated Google Maps and Google Places APIs, which give drivers even more ways to find local restaurants, stores and other points of interest while on-the-go.

The integration of Google Maps into car dashboards means potential customers may simply drive by businesses with low rankings in Google Places.


Jan 042013

The No. 1 way to get a top local listing rankings is Reviews, Reviews, and More Reviews.   Whether they are about products and services or just observations, everbody has a perspective to share.   These Social Comments are recognized and read by everyone and become critical factors for customer buying.

And, just as importantly, these reviews are critical for Google Local Search Ranking.

As part of the Google Places rank, Google aggregates reviews from social sites such as Facebook, other search engines such as Yahoo and Bing, and directories such as Yelp, Judy’s Book, Four Square, and more (there are thousands of directories.).

Note:   It is crucial to be listed in the right directories for your type of business or service in order to achieve a higher ranking.

Tip:   Consider designing and implementing a review process to capture customer reviews for your business.   It may the most important action your business can take to get a Page 1 Ranking.

Where does your company rank?
Find out now.

Dec 222012

Wow… where to start?

Though the Holidays are upon us, we’re working furiously here at the Geeks Marketing to prepare for 2013.

To existing clients:
Thank you for your support over this past year!
It’s great to see your projects come together.

To new and prospective clients:
We look forward to working with you next year!

John Garay, CEO
Sue Davis, VP Sales
And the rest of the Geeks!