Thursday, August 25, 2011

Say Goodbye to Facebook Places

Despite past speculation, Foursquare has remained a stalwart in the social "check-in" industry. Facebook, however, has decided to cut its losses and shut down Facebook Places. While geographical check-ins will not disappear from Facebook entirely, they will be combined with other features--such as tagging a photo with a location. On smartphones, stand alone check-ins from others will no longer show up in your news feed.

Foursquare will still be a dominant provider of social check-in and meetup services. With partnerships with American Express, Groupon, and Living Social, among others, Foursquare is solidifying itself as a force to be reckoned with.

Of course, let's not forget Google has a hand in the local check-ins as well. Google+ has a check in feature that should correlate directly to local search results and help Google Places in search.

Blackhat Scamming on Google Places

Google Places has a huge effect on search results, which we've addressed before with the significance of optimized place pages and user reviews. Well, it was only a matter of time before the blackhat SEOs manipulated the system to their clients benefit. Fake negative reviews have been a problem for many companies, and now the new tactic is to go to competitor listing pages and mark the business location as "place is permanently closed."

So far, the only troubleshooting you can do for this is to periodically check your listing, and to report to us if any suspicious activity occurs. We will also be checking your listings, but an extra set of eyes won't hurt! Hopefully Google will enhance Places communication in the near future and notify business owners of any settings that are modified on their listings--especially to verify that their place of business is in fact closed permanently.

Remember, your team here at Tandem is here to help with any questions or problems you are having. Do not hesitate to reach out!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Foursquare Forges Partnerships with AMEX and Groupon

Back in January, we asked you if you were on Foursquare yet. Now, several months later, the company has grown leaps and bounds--particularly in the partnerships division. Over the past two months, Foursquare has announced a deal with American Express and a separate deal with coupon conglomerate Groupon.

The AMEX deal is pretty straightforward: cardholders will receive discounts when they check in to specific bars and restaurants. Syncing your account with the app will make you eligible for cash back, discounts, and all kinds of AMEX-only perks. There are no coupons to print or show, the rewards simply show up on your statement.

The Groupon deal opens Foursquare savings to everyone, not just AMEX holders. While Groupon has been long-standing on the platform of buy-now, print tomorrow savings at various vendors, a new deal has formed where checking-in on Foursquare triggers nearby Groupon deals to pop up for instant purchase & redemption. The real time coupon app is aptly called Groupon Now.

If you haven't joined Foursquare...or if you've been slacking on the's the time to get back in the game!

Here at Tandem, we eat, sleep, and breathe all things Internet. We strive to be your one-stop search marketing and SEO shop! If you've got questions about Foursquare or any other site, shoot us an e-mail or leave us a comment here on the blog.

Happy weekend from Tandem!