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  1. Jon at

    Direct Review Link Not Working

    Hey TheJimster, This was a Google bug yesterday: Scary! But it was fixed relatively quickly :) Jon
  2. Jon at

    Yelp Notification Service

    Hi Joe, Sorry for the trouble there. We do rely on Yelp's Developer API for monitoring, and we have long had to describe our Yelp monitoring as "limited" for that reason. Yelp has been shrinking the review data they make available via the Developer API in order to monetize that data through...
  3. Jon at

    Grade.Us vs GetFiveStars vs Whoever Else

    It's true that most agencies/SEOs who do review management--and most of us vendors who serve them--see greater value in strategies that include the stuff that actually impacts an end-client's local visibility, such as review acquisition and amplification. Monitoring is arguably more valuable...
  4. Jon at

    How to get reviews in a sensitive niche?

    Great question! And while I can't hope to add much to the excellent replies above, two quick comments come to mind from our experience: - You may find it useful to make the ask less about the business-customer relationship and more about "helping others", e.g.: "Would you share your experience...
  5. Jon at

    Back to the future for Google with Reviews from around the web

    Agreed, Joy! I'm not recommending *anyone* go against the Big G :) But I think people should be informed of what is actually happening on the ground, especially people who have already implemented strategies to take advantage of Google's "old" guidelines (from January!). If there's anything...
  6. Jon at

    Back to the future for Google with Reviews from around the web

    FYI it's not true that your own site must follow Google's new guidelines to see this result. I agree that implementing the new guidelines is good future-proofing. But currently, any syntactically correct use of schema on a site with adequate PageRank will show up here, as it is with rich snippets.
  7. Jon at

    Should you Mark up Testimonials to get Gold Stars?

    Mine may have been an alarmist interpretation. I have just heard from Mike that Google has directly indicated to him that this guideline has to do with incentivized reviews. Whew!
  8. Jon at

    Should you Mark up Testimonials to get Gold Stars?

    Agreed, Joshua. I, for one, would love to know what Google means by this guideline! It's not crystal clear to me. If it's just another way of saying "no paid, fake reviews," it's certainly a roundabout way of saying it!
  9. Jon at

    Should you Mark up Testimonials to get Gold Stars?

    P.S. Of course, as a business owner, I'd still probably trade away rich snippets in order to use the most compelling review content on-site. SERP CTRs aside, the goal for most businesses is to win over and convert human prospects. I think reviews sourced from and vetted by trusted publishers...
  10. Jon at

    Should you Mark up Testimonials to get Gold Stars?

    Thanks, Linda! Please note that my post was largely aimed at clearing up confusion for those who saw "Google" + "Reviews" + "Changes" in an SELand headline and hit the appropriate panic button, which apparently sends an email to me :) But for this crowd, I'm curious if there's a big picture...
  11. Jon at

    Keep Calm and Follow Google?s New Schema Guidelines? Or Not

    Thanks for sharing, Garrett. Yeah, the first part of the post is to address exactly that hype/confusion/"jumping to conclusions" as to what these guidelines are actually about: Google's criteria for the use of schema markup on reviews. Man, Google can stir things up! This is a feature that the...
  12. Jon at

    Review: review management software

    Thanks so much, Tim. You are too kind! But I'll take it :) And we do genuinely appreciate all of the input we get from savvy users of our platform like yourself. We aren't perfect, but we are perfectionists.
  13. Jon at

    Google Changes Its Syntax for Review URLs on Mobile

    Hi Tim, Yep, no changes necessary on your end. The standard Google review URLs we generate for you are still the best option for desktop use. Our clever engineering team has simply built-in some technical jiu-jitsu to detect the reviewers' device and rewrite the Google URLs for mobile...
  14. Jon at

    Nifty tool to get a direct link to review on Google

    Good point. Of course, it is better (and hardly "shady") if you can populate the rating from user input, e.g. 1 star:,2,1 2 stars...
  15. Jon at

    Nifty tool to get a direct link to review on Google

    These tools are handy for keeping up with the changes at Google. But FYI this one hasn't optimized for the changes *since* last November. For example, now it's possible to construct URLs for an even more streamlined experience, e.g. - This syntax will launch right into the review dialog if the...
  16. Jon at

    Leaving Yelp reviews on mobile without downloading app

    Wow, Barry, I'm sorry for the misinformation. Testing this on our battery of actual iOS and Android devices this morning (not emulators), Yelp does force the app download at the point you try to enter a rating or review when you follow the standard path above. BUT it appears that you can still...
  17. Jon at

    Leaving Yelp reviews on mobile without downloading app

    Hi Barry, It is possible. Yelp is pretty aggressive about driving people to download the Yelp app, though. Even when you follow a mobile web link of the format, you're still prompted with a big button to "DOWNLOAD THE APP", or in small gray letters: "Continue to mobile site" :)...
  18. Jon at

    Reviews: What's the Difference Between Libel & Opinion? $350K in Damages

    Agreed with @lionandtheram. And if my client were a lawyer, I'd probably defer to her opinion on whether to bring a matter to court ;) But this story is a welcome counterpoint to the recent spate of "Streisand effect" stories highlighting businesses who try to hold their customers to...
  19. Jon at Agency demo for skeptics

    Thanks @Linda, thanks @heckler. Like a pored-over novel or film, I'd hope that this demo lets you dive in anywhere, put it down and pick it back up again later, and always glean something from the rich tapestry of review tactics and themes it interweaves. Or if not, I hope it's at least a...
  20. Jon at Agency demo for skeptics

    Most customers are agencies and SEOs. And it's been a blast having so many smart and accomplished marketers putting our platform through their paces over the years! As a result, we receive a TON of feedback, and we evolve the platform almost daily. While that's great for our developers...