Partner Publishers in the News

We’re going to round up some general news articles about some of the Yext partner publishers, what they’ve been dealing with lately, and any small update and/or quick bits we’ve heard about them. None of these stories warranted its own piece, so we’ve bundled them here.

Bing Spam Filtering Affected 3% of Queries

In early September, Bing revealed that a change in their spam filtering algorithm had affected 3% of all Bing searches. This spam filter targeted something called “keyword stuffing,” a common spam technique that takes advantage of how machines process language as opposed to how human beings do.

Keyword stuffing includes things such as: URLs deliberately “stuffed” with search keywords placed semi-haphazardly in order to boost search rank; meta-tag abuse; and “domain parking” or “squatting” on URLs that are common misspellings of other, more-popular domains. ( vs., for example; the former may be a parked, spammy domain whereas the latter is the legitimate retailer.)

In an in-depth blog post, Principal Development Manager of the Bing Index Quality Team at Microsoft, Igor Rondel, described how Bing detects keyword stuffing and then uses that information to filter out spam and spammy results. (A somewhat more succinct overview can be found here at Search Engine Land.)

This blog post goes hand-in-hand with Rondel’s earlier post on web spam filtering, including the various dimensions and signals that the Bing Index Quality Team works to detect and filter. It’s actually pretty fascinating, and Bing’s openness about their spam filtering may provide some insight into how Google filters (or doesn’t filter, as the case may be) for spam. (For those in a crunch, Search Engine Land also recapped this post here.

For SEOs and SEMs managing multiple locations and websites for various clients, knowing what flags as spam (both from a human perspective as well as a machine perspective) provides a window into how we can optimize these sites for our clients.

Yelp Lawsuit Dismissed by Appeals Court

In early September, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the class action lawsuit against Yelp for “extortion” with respect to reviews and advertising spending. The class action accused Yelp of holding reviews hostage and/or allowing negative reviews to persist unless businesses spent money on advertising with Yelp.

What made this class action remarkable was that it was filed on behalf of Yelp shareholders by investor Joseph Curry.

The Ninth Circuit found that there was not enough evidence to suggest Yelp met the statues for its practices to constitute extortion. You can find Yelp’s official statement on the official Yelp blog.

Google My Business Dashboard Messages

As Google transitions Google Places into Google My Business (GMB), some users have reported receiving emails and seeing alerts of tasks that were pending, changes that needed to be made, and/or delisting notices.

Over at Search Engine People, Martha Vasquez wrote a guide to the top five notifications to be acted upon. The most notable is that orange notification bars are more benign than red bars, which require immediate action.

As the GMB transition continues on, and the GMB development team makes changes and improvements, it will be imperative that page administrators log in periodically into their dashboard and ensure that all their clients are not only still listed and live, but also that the information being displayed continues to be accurate and up-to-date.

xAd Raises $50 million for Mobile

VentureBeat is reporting that mobile marketing and location platform, xAd raised $50mil recently.

xAd leverages their connection with Yext not only to power navigation and location-based services for its four mobile publishers, but also to better serve advertisements on a hyperlocal level. However, this only works at scale — one xAd hopes to build as rapidly as possible.

Yext Certified Partners are familiar with xAd, but through the four mobile brands it runs with Yext: Cricket, Verizon, Tracfone, and MetroPCS.