Many of you know that the area of my educational pursuits was in E-Commerce; I received E-Commerce certification with my MSIMC degree. (Integrated Marketing Communications). I enjoy developing offline and Internet Marketing Strategy programs, and employing them. I also enjoy the social marketing aspect of it, in terms of online integration.
However, I think I am social marketing’ed out when it comes to my own life. I just don’t have time to do Face Book that much, where my own account is concerned. My Tweets for myself haven’t been as chirpy as I like. And now, I will be forced to Yelp. I am not a fan of Yelp. Yes, I have used it, under a different name of course, and for clients, but personally, I’m just not a fan. I have to say the same about Face Book.
I wondered why the attitude. I think it is an ownership and privacy issue. When I am working on a website, the content of that site is owned by the client. When we do a client blog which is hosted somewhere, (not the free platforms), the content is owned by the client and controlled by the client. With Face Book, while it may be my little profile, technically Face Book has full rights to my content, if push were to come to shove. Because it is free, it’s not like I’m even a tenant with contractual rights.
And why the Yelpitis? Control, baby, control! I know a gal who had some great reviews for her practice, but then was plagued by a couple of very negative reviews. She complained but hey, it’s not her data, it is Yelp’s data. However, she was offered the chance to buy a membership and receive whatever benefits there would be imparted. Of three very negative reviews, two were definitely what forum users refer to as written by trolls. Fortunately, because of the way Yelp works, eventually those reviews fell further and further south in the land of the scrolling screen.
An old friend of mine just bought a membership for Yelp. It’ll cost her $350 a month. Since she hasn’t had a website since I’ve ever known her (for 20 something years), she needs an online presence. She’s not a Face Book type of gal, so Yelp suits her well. And since I know her practice, she’s asked me to Yelp. So I will be “forced” to Yelp once again. Oddly I’m excited for her, because she has avoided almost all online exposure, and with her long history of helping clients, I’m sure she’ll do fine. With that $350 a month, I’m sure she’ll also be more troll free, as well, since she’s entering into a contractual agreement.
Certain trends in the area of SEO indicate that social marketing platforms are becoming increasingly more important for search engine rankings. While this seems to have merit, there are other issues going on as well. There are those who employ ‘black hat’ practices, and find ways to bend the system or trick it out, so to speak, so that they get high rankings for clients while doing things just on the wrong side of being ethical.
And so it goes for platforms like Yelp and Face Book. While they have merit, and can be very useful, they can also be circumvented by people to blacklist competitors, and to artificially boost rankings on the search engines. However, one thing is a known, and that is that Google, the big daddy of all Search Engines in 2011, will probably eventually root out such offenders.
The big “content farm” update that Google ran recently is testament to how quickly what is really “in” right now can really put you on the “outs” overnight. If Face Book and Yelp succumb to being a tool for “black hatters,” then who knows how the impact on SEO will shake out.
Well, that’s it for tonight, folks. I have to go Yelp for my friend.