According to a report by Small Business Trends this week, a group of SEO companies and small businesses in New York State were caught in a sting operation called “Operation Clean Turf.” Spearheaded by Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, the operation uncovered unethical pay-for-review programs. Under the guise of “reputation management services,” SEO firms were offering to post fake reviews for businesses on social networking sites such as Yelp! It seems that social media’s dirty little secret is not so secret anymore.





Comments


Written by tiroberts
2560 days ago

Really great article, Val. Authenticity is the #1 thing that you should be focused on when it comes to social media if you hope to become a sought leader and influencer. Thanks for sharing this with us.



Written by SusanBrown
2572 days ago

Great find, Valentine.

There are some very important points there, but the best part of the article comes at the very end:

"As more of these stories are uncovered, consumers will become more cynical and rely less on the social proof created by reviews, paid endorsements, and perceived “influential” social celebrities. More emphasis will be placed on the reviews, comments, and recommendations of those in the customer’s personal, trusted circles.

This is one of the reasons that Google Search Plus Your World, which prioritizes the content created, shared, and promoted by a person’s personal social graph, has become so important to the practice of SEO and influence marketing."

Many people, business owners in particular, are missing this point, and ironically it's fueling the very inauthenticity that has become so widespread.



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