Posts Tagged ‘business’

I’m sitting in McDonalds amazed at the restaurant that it now is compared to what it once was.

Modern art on the wall. Lounge chairs with coffee tables. Menu changes with smoothies, lattes. Sure the iconic happy meals are still available, but now you can order those with apple slices. The milkshakes are still on the menu as well, but I honestly don’t remember the last time I had one. What, 15, 16, maybe even 20 years ago? And I haven’t seen a styrofoam hamburger box around for awhile.

The decor is what most intrigues me. I would venture to guess that the menu changes are the quickest and least costly changes. Adding a disposable item is much less risky than adding the permanent fixtures of booths and the tile backsplash. Such interior make overs aren’t cheap. So just what is the cost benefit? Does replacing perfectly usable tables, chairs, and booths really pay off?

I don’t have the answer for McDonald’s, but I’m confident that they do. I’m also certain that not every restaurant needs an interior decorating overhaul to stay profitable. But what I do know is that staying relevant is vital to every business. Businesses need to check the lay of the land and make sure they are staying current for their market and their customers. Stay relevant. Know when a little painful and costly interior redecorating is needed to make sure your business is still alive in the future years.


Google 的貼牌冰箱(Google refrigerator)

Google refrigerator (Photo credit: Aray Chen)

You play too dirty… You play too clean… You play too much?

Moderation in all things is a great motto, but when you set out to build a boat you want it to float. Is there such a thing as building a boat too well? So google wants relevant content to win. They make measurements. People figure out these measurements. SEO’s adjust. The problem here with over optimization is that what Google has deemed okay in the past could now potentially be over optimized??? Is it really going to help to be “under optimized”?

So many business owners are just now coming to realize that ranking in the search engine’s isn’t a fluke. As these new business owners catch on and get a clue they will begin where so many have begun in the past, and now those tactics may hurt you?

I have long believed that Google would penalize any site with a perfect score. As the algorithm is secret, in order to score a perfect score the site owner would have to be cheating. There comes a point when people just need to stop focusing on what google is doing to tweak their algo. It’s a market of ups and downs. You invest one week in links to find their value gone the next. And then the value picks back up. You are playing a market. If you like the game play it. I believe your best bet is play by the rules that google sets and by the spirit of their law. They are pretty honest in what they tell you they want. Really the whole mess of things is pretty gray. Sadly, if Google judgement day hits, they are most likely going to quietly rule and behead you and the judge and jury remain behind hidden doors.

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You know perhaps I have too much time on my hands and that is why I am actually reading these emails… Here is the pest report of the day.

Subject: Twelve Minutes

Hi, I was hoping you would give me just twelve minutes of your time to talk to you about your website. I am showing businesses like yours how they stack up against their competition, with a no obligation in depth analysis of their site.

I pride myself in understanding how search engines work, and can break it down to a simple science for you. If you give me an opportunity, I can show you how your site is currently stacking up against your competition and how you could be on top _ getting all the traffic your business deserves.

I am doing this at no cost. If by the end of twelve minutes you do not want my help, at least I will know you are making an educated decision and will remember my name when you are ready.

Please let me know the best way to reach you and any comments you want me to consider before I do my research.

I look forward to earning your business,

Kathy Lanten

Best Rank SEO | Outreach Department | San Diego, CA 92109

If you never want to hear from me again, just reply with REMOVE in the subject.

Twelve minutes? Well Kathy Lanten from Best Rank SEO, your 12 minutes is up, since you spammed this SEO crap to several of my websites. And LIES! ALL LIES!… As if you would only take 12 minutes of my time if you had me on the phone. Perhaps I am just that rude, to give you 12 minutes and hang up when you hit the 12 minute mark.

Consider this, if your SEO is anything like your email then you will be wasting my time.


Today’s email brings to mind a number of great questions… Read the following for a peek into the future of digital marketing attribution.

Attribution’s Value to the Customer Intelligence Function By Bill Muller, Editor

With the emergence of the Customer Intelligence (CI) function within many enterprise-sized marketing organizations has arisen the desire to look at customer behavior across the entire marketing ecosystem. Inherent in attribution modeling’s functionality is the ability to do just that – to not only scientifically assign credit to the channel, campaign and campaign traits that helped marketers achieve success by whichever key performance indicators they choose, but also to associate that media performance success with the demographic and behavioral traits of given audience segments.

Let’s look at just three examples of CI value that can be drawn from the attribution process:

Customer Value

As transactional data that’s associated with customers is fed back into the marketing attribution process, it can be married with media performance data and customer demographic information (that’s collected through the transaction process, surveys, or via overlay by any number of third-party data providers). As a result, algorithmically attributed media performance can be identified for an organization’s highest value customers, or by those with the highest propensity to convert, or by those with the highest propensity to be repeat buyers – as defined by the demographic and behavior traits of a particular customer segment. Armed with this information, CI professionals can advise their online and offline media buying colleagues to adjust their tactics by customer segment to increase LTV, conversion rates and yield.

Mapping the Funnel

By analyzing the demographic characteristics of customers whose marketing performance data has been fed through the attribution process, CI professionals can also identify the tactics that produce the best results at each stage of the conversion funnel – by audience segment. Which channel, publisher and offer serves at the first touch (“introducer”) for the customer segment with the highest LTV? Which combination of tactics serves as the last touch for the segment with the highest propensity to be repeat buyers? For the highest value customer segments based on several different key performance indicators, what do the ideal conversion funnels look like? With answers to questions like these, the CI function can not only advise the rest of the marketing organization on which tactics produce the highest results by customer segment, but can also prescribe at which funnel stage and in which sequence those tactics should be executed.

Assessing Lag Time

There are numerous “lag time” metrics associated with every customer’s stack of touchpoints on the path to a conversion. The time between every milestone – first impression, first click, first website visit, last impression, last click, last website visit, conversion, etc.-can be calculated, and as with the examples above, can be associated to the demographic traits and media performance of the highest value audience segments. With the intelligence gleaned from this analysis, CI professionals can advise media professionals on which audience segments have the longest and shortest lag times between critical milestones in the conversion funnel, the lag times for the highest value segments, and which media tactics should be employed to produce faster conversions, higher value customers, and the greatest return across the entire marketing ecosystem.

Just Scratching the Surface

Though attribution is rapidly on the rise within the media buying function at many organizations, the Customer Intelligence function is rarely taking advantage of the cross channel touchpoint intelligence that only the attribution management process can provide. But as these professionals begin to experiment with attribution and incorporate it in the value-add they provide to their media buying colleagues, it will undoubtedly become their default methodology, never again choosing to look at audience characteristics in isolated, non-attributed silos.

Articles From Industry Publications

Can Online Marketer’s Lead the Charge for Analytics & Attribution?

By Manu Mathew, Co-Founder & CEO, Visual IQ
Published in Marketing Land

By Manu Mathew, Co-Founder & CEO, Visual IQ

Published in Search Engine Land

By Anto Chittilappilly, Co-Founder, President & CTO, Visual IQ
Published in Online Metrics Insider
In This Issue
Attribution”s Value to the CI Function
Can Online Marketer’s Lead the Charge?
Search Campaign Optimization
Attribution’s Insights Not Always A Straight Line
White Paper
Note to The Editor
Have feedback to provide on the content of this issue? Want to suggest a topic for a future issue? Drop a note to the editor here.

Attribution in 2012 and beyond

To think that analyzing touch points, lag time, and buying behavior has become so systematic and trackable is amazing. Marketing philosophy a decade ago only mentioned these processes, never before has a company been able to document these. Marketing in the past simply just gave into overlap of marketing. You show a message on TV, they see and ad in magazine, they hear your name across the dinner table… 21 impressions… 7 touches before a buy… ALL OF IT GUESS WORK. In the past you really just needed an intuitive guess on what was working. The way of the future will allow even more accurate tracking and documenting of the elusive touche points it takes for a customer to buy.

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.XXX General Registration Opens Today. 

The TLD (top level domain) .XXX was created this year in hopes to give adult websites their own location online. While the idea of separating out adult material from the rest of web has it’s appeal, it seems that those buying domains don’t agree. Adult content websites argue that the annual price of $99.99 is unfair. Many in the adult industry don’t want the new TLD. Many businesses don’t want to be forced into buying yet another domain to prevent the abuse of their trademark. At $99.99/year, the price for little online reputation management is pretty steep. And the price of letting someone destroy your name?

Let’s Be Adults About This

Yes, that is really their tag line, hard to keep an adult face when you incite a chuckle with a tagline like that. But they apparently mean business. They only want those that use .XXX domains to offer adult entertainment. So as much as I’d enjoy the spoofs on “Live Naked Bugs”, I don’t think that would fall into the proper use for BUGS.XXX. And as funny as it might be, the domain itself isn’t likely to show up in a “safe search” and simply because of the .xxx TLD will be blocked from Net Nannies.

ICANN and the Swiss-based Universal Postal Uni...

So despite their tag line, being adult about it seems far from the majority of real life business scenarios. Most companies buy to prevent the abuse that comes from less than adult like activity. Stealing a brand’s good name is anything but adult-like conduct.

And that is your Pest Report. Buy now or forever hold your piece. (<— not a typo)

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2011Q2 Google Earnings Slides

Google as a whole is moving so incredibly fast and so far up the revenue ladder that its intimidating. I am impressed by what google has accomplished and their record breaking growth. But as a business owner and customer, I am saddened by the lack of concern and attention I am given. I feel like an ant on Google’s boot along for a great ride, but if I draw google’s attention then I am going to get flicked off or worse, squashed and rolled into a ball. As much as I hate that google doesn’t seem to care about me as a local pest control business who buys from them, I really feel that riding on the bottom of their boot will still move me further faster.

Honestly, I hated seeing google get picked on in congressional hearings. It makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up when I see the government stepping in to play big bully brother. Letting government steal freedoms from my neighboring business means opening up the doors to my coffers as well. But google would do well to make themselves more endearing to those that buy from them. As one SEO put it, “Without and friends, no one is going to help pick them up


Need Phoenix Ant Control?

Likable = Linkable


Image by Hug It Forward via Flickr

Twitter is a great tool for engagement. Yes you should use twitter to build links. You find like minded individuals. You share content with them. You tweet out their good content. You make comments on their blogs. You get invited to guest post. You build relationships, you build links. The best links come from humans, not bots, not tools, HUMANS.

In the same stroke. A relationship is about give and take. Again, yes, you should use twitter to build links. But tweeting out self promoting links every 5 minutes, or 10, or even hourly just to build links will sabotage your relationships. ( see rule #3 Thou Shalt Not Blatantly Self-Promote ) So I try to avoid too much self promotion on my own twitter stream. I don’t use my twitter stream to build links for me. I don’t want to loose influence with peers by flooding my twitter stream with ME, ME, ME. I know, as a pest control guy I probably don’t carry too much influence… Even more the reason to guard what little I may have.

No relationships = No Links

FYI- The best links I get and give from twitter usually come from behind the DM curtain. 

( find me on twitter @Thos003 )

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QR codes are super cool if you are an uber geek!

Google Favorite Places QR code

There is an arguments against QR codes. Not everyone knows what to do with them still. Some of the QR code scanners suck, or maybe it’s just the crummy iPhone 3 camera. People also find it more difficult to fumble through their apps looking for that scanner that they rarely use. It’s almost easier to just write in a url.. and people know where to put that. So has the honeymoon ended?

QR Code Marketing Advantages

Pest Control recieves Favorite Place award

See boss this is cool!

1- Tracking.

2- Tracking.

3- Tracking.

What a marketer loves about QR codes is that it can track what offline ad is generating online visitors. Plan and simple, QR codes are best for tracking offline to online marketing. Read more about QR-Codes offline to Online. There was also a romantic flare pulled off by Klein in concealing their message behind a QR code to “Get it uncensored!”. But that gimmick will only last so long… except that I am still talking about it, so props for the originality.

And, yes, there is some very creative design work that can go into QR codes. Still love the Vampire QR code produced for the show TRUE BLOOD. But, other then myself, who really appreciates this advertising? I couldn’t even remember the show! I always refer to it as the “Vampire QR Code”. Not really a stellar branding tactic.

QR Code = Get More Info Here

There is some additional value to “Get More Info Here”. It may even seem to be an easier call to action than visit us at But that’s just it, is it an easier call to action? Are people more likely to scan a QR code than remember a URL? The plus side to a URL is that it is memorable. The down side to using just a QR code is that if they don’t scan it “NOW” then they may never visit your site and get more info.  I don’t have the answer, I am simply saying, know the limitations of your ads. Know your audience. And test which call to action works.

The Future of QR-Code Marketing

Does QR code marketing have a future? Yes, Google did pull the plug on their QR code, but don’t flush the QR codes out with the crap. Wayne,, makes some good points, like “Google did not invent the QR Code”. But more importantly, it’s not how anybody else uses it, it’s how you use it! If it works for you, then keep it going. I don’t believe QR codes make great ads. I do believe that a well placed call to action, be it a QR Code or a URL, or BOTH, can be a key element in a good ad.  Do what works for you. I believe QR codes, and even Microsoft’s Tag, have their place in marketing and will still be useful in the future.

SEO Philosophy

Posted: September 1, 2010 by Thos003 in Just for Fun, SEO
Tags: , , ,

If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

I hated this “philosophical” question when I first heard it, but philosophy is not found in the quick logic that suggest “yes, it will make a sound.” For those that endeavor to understand philosophy, the question itself should cause us to reach into the creative cognitive reasoning part of our brain, to ask the question, to understand the possibilities, and to draw a conclusion based on our core beliefs. Therein lies the philosophical part.  To stretch one’s mind a bit to the possible answers and the reasoning behind those answers.  Truthfully I don’t like to argue every insignificant point, detail, or question. One could easily get lost in the philosophies of men.  Following down paths of obscure logic to pointless directionless locations is most often a waste of time. So why then even begin such banter? Because if we have not traveled into the darkness from time to time then we have not explored new possibilities to find better roads. But it’s a delicate balance between wasting all our time in the darkness and vigorously pursuing known paths to new heights.

What is philosophy?

(I almost feel like I should stop right there, but being encouraged by Alan’s recent post The Psychology of SEO I will do my best to complete my thought.)

Take your pick of definitions… EnyMeanyMinyMoo… I pick number 7 to go.

7. A set of ideas or beliefs relating to a particular field or activity; an underlying theory:

How I see a philosophy;  a core set of beliefs based on an entity’s principles, logic, and reasoning. Yes, both reasoning and logic. Although some would argue that philosophy is “a search for a general understanding of values and reality by chiefly speculative rather than observational means.” I feel that humans have the ability to reason for a purpose and that reasoning, speculation, and observation can lead us to a greater understanding. If logic is the study of arguments, and reasoning is the drawing of conclusions then both are good ingredients when developing a philosophy.

Why develop a philosophy for SEO?


Research-based Doctor of Philosophy

There are many that believe that SEO is constantly changing.  SEO today isn’t what it was 10 years ago, 5 years ago, or even 5 months ago.  Even those that pronounce SEO dead.  Those that chase after the blowing sands of SEO could find themselves in quick sand or buried in the next desert sand storm.  How do we then avoid the pitfalls of the changing winds?  We develop a deeper understanding of how the winds change, why the winds change, and the pressures that affect those changes. We seek to understand the winds. Once we understand the wind, it’s patterns, it’s reasons, it’s methodology, we can then apply that understanding to our values and/or test it against our  interests.

There must come a point when researching and reasoning develop into a core belief.  An entity must take a philosophical approach bridging the gaps between the anecdotal information, the statistical analysis, and the written declarations. Can one simply believe and accept that the search engine wants to provide its users with the best results when they are for profit organizations? Should we argue points on why a search engine wants irrelevant and spammy results showing up? The end in any of these questions should be what beliefs will we subscribe to.  How will those beliefs affect our SEO? If we make such beliefs and draw conclusion then we can develop our SEO philosophy. The reason for doing so is that a core philosophy in SEO will allow you to move beyond the newest trendiest SEO topics. It will help anchor us in the shifting sands. It will provide a foundation to build on instead of leaving us running to and fro with shifting winds looking for better ground. Your SEO philosophy should be well founded so that you don’t loose site of your SEO architecture and strategy.

Here are a few SEO philosophy that have developed with or without the practitioners awareness:

The Mad Black Hatter

“I believe that the search engine wants to mandate it’s laws and rules but doesn’t wish to hire the police officers to enforce the law.” (Paraphrasing a conversation I had with a very effective SEO veteran.)

This particular mad hatter makes a lot of money bending the rules and in turn actually makes the search engine money.  It would seem that his logic is that money rules the roost for both himself and the search engine.  It even appears to be a win-win for both! Other black hatters complain that “the search engines use automation so why can’t I?”  They argue that they are simply following the examples of the search engines and the fact that their tactics work are proof that they are giving the search engines what they want.

The Gray Matter

If it’s not written then it is free game.  But don’t break the speed limit any more than the guy next you. Doesn’t everyone know that you won’t get pulled over at 10 mph over the speed limit?

The White Washed Hatter

The search engines are clear in their terms of service.  They provide ample resources for webmasters to use so that webmasters can do it the right way.  Their intent in providing so much for free is so that we can trust them. Site structure alone is sufficient to get sites ranked. If you build it well enough then you will get found and people will link to you and return. Natural and organic growth is the best way to do it. Search engines have and do remove websites from their index.  The search engines do set up algorithms to beat out scammers and spammers and they continue to develop their software to be more accurate.  The more rules the search engines create  the better we can follow and the better the system will work.

Developing your SEO philosophy

Read. Contemplate. Watch. Listen. Learn.  Move beyond pure numbers. Move beyond speculation alone. Use both reason and logic to understand the search engines, the variety of search engines, and their core values. Then evaluate your business model and what values your business carries. Align your goals and values with the goals and values of the search engines, as you perceive them, and you have a SEO philosophy. Ground your efforts in that core philosophy.

One of my personal philosophies is to try and live by the spirit of the law and the letter of the law. But if push comes to shove, the spirit of the law usually trumps the letter of the law. So I am sorry, but if my load speed on a site is a little slow due to more graphics and/or higher quality graphics and the search engine wants to ding me, I must subscribe to what my visitors want.

I know for a pest control guy that usually cracks jokes this post is going to be out of my genre, but I am not a static character.

“Relationships are not defined by a single moment but are a summation of all moments spent together.”

Philosophy Two, I love my job by choice.  =)

Google just released the ability to respond to reviews!!!

They also provide these great guidelines on how to respond.

  • Ignore minor complaints and resolve issues privately when possible.
  • Address problems constructively. Don’t use responses to advertise.
  • Do not ask reviewers for anything or offer them anything.
  • Be professional and polite. The world can read your response.



Now if you have ever been on the business side of things than you will sympathize the idea that critics can be so cruel and that they are exaggerating the truth.  And yes, J.D. Powers actually confirms that a customer is more likely to lie about something than a business is. But having said this, the customer will still share some insight into areas of possible concern, even if blown out of proportion.  And while many people might not squawk at a pest in the far corner of the room, nobody likes an ugly bug in their face.  So take step back away from the threatening pest and then focus on your  pest control efforts… Which shouldn’t be directed at the customer holding the bug in your face, direct it at the bug.

Barely noticable cheese ball on carpet...


There will be those that will shout foul play every time.  If they are not your customers than it is probably better to ignore them.  And there may also be competitors that post fake reviews. Yes, it can get ugly.  (You know I think I use to under value that whole 9th commandment thing, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.”) Honesty should be your only policy.

Case Study #1

So Jason decided to respond to a “review” that called into question all of his other positive reviews. Yes probably unfair of the reviewer to make such claims, and possibly a competitor, but Jason spoke his mind as most of us might be tempted to do.

By Don – Jun 27, 2010

What is with all these companies writing their own reviews. ALL these REVIEWS came in the span of a month. I don’t get it! Do you guys think people are not really going to catch on to what you are doing? Be smarter guys! You’re making yourselves lose business. It makes you look dishonorable. SHAME ON YOU!‎

Weird? You know what’s really weird?..
By Jason – Jul 9, 2010
Whats really weird is when people make erroneous comments without having any real evidence to back them up. Just because there are several positive reviews does not automatically mean that they are fake. Don did you ever stop to think that maybe this company is taking an active approach to their marketing and actually asking customers to visit this site and post honest experiences and maybe, they even used incentives for their technicians as a way to generate these legitimate reviews as well as create some friendly competition between the employees and build morale? No, I guess you wouldn’t take the time and actually use your brain or even make a phone call or send an email to get some real information before slandering someone’s good name simply because you think you know-it-all. So the next time you want to play big bully “Be smarter” because “it makes YOU look dishonorable. SHAME ON YOU!”‎

Blown out of porportion... yes the details get a little fuzzy here. BTW... those red arrows are the same size. #perspective

And it get’s worse… “Billy” yes most likely aka for Don, decides to join the conversation….

Unusually suspicious‎‎
By Billy – Jul 17, 2010
I might have to side with Don on this one. I have never gone with progressive and actually looking for a reputable pest control service in Charlotte. But after coming to this page and reading Don’s post right before Jason’s review, it looks mightily unusual that someone like Jason feels that strongly about a pest control company. Jason goes on as much to personally insult Don. Again, just looks weird to see someone that offended over a pest control review… Another unusual thing is that Don is right, all the reviews are within a span of a month or two. And all the posters don’t review anything else but this company. Kinda sneaky in my opinoin… but that’s just my opinion 🙂 No offense!‎
Yes I can totally sympathize with John here.  The guy that gave you a bad review wasn’t a customer, at best, was just an onlooker and has to blurt out a opinion that you claim is false. Horribly wrong of him to do so without really knowing the facts.
If you can get good reviews in a legitimate way, i.e. your customers, than do it. If you are the type of company that offers great service than help your customers talk.  BUT… John, if you were a Bulwark Exterminating manager or employee than I would ask you to remove your comment.  Intelligent people will make a judgment call either way.  Let them read the reviews for themselves.  We are all adults here right?… Well we should all be adults.

Case Study #2

A pest control company in Houston gets a disbeliever…

Look at the dates on these reviews!‎‎
By adam – Dec 12, 2009

It seems that they have a bunch of good reviews all on the same date. That is odd? Also, all the bad reviews are are marked with about the same number of people putting that the review was not helpful. LOOKS LIKE A SCAM TO ME.‎

The other side of the story!‎‎
By Tiffani – Feb 15, 2010

This is Raleigh Jenkins and I am the owner of ABC Pest Pool and Lawn Services. I have reviewed the latest google comments and I would like to respond to those who question the other reviews regarding any “fake” comments and to clarify the issue. We have recently had an incentive program for our technicians to ask our customers to go online to our ABC website to share their experience with us. Too often it is only those who have a complaint that respond to a survey and it is sometimes difficult for many of us to request a compliment! We have also included our survey request with the paperwork that is left at our customers homes and business. With this recent activity, we have increased the number of surveys that are completed and we are proud to say that many of our customers are taking the time to express their positive experience with ABC. In an effort to share “the other side of the story”, we have copied our recent surveys from our website and copied them on the google site. I assure you they are all legitimate comments from very real customers. If you have any doubts, I would be happy to speak to you personally; and with the customers permission, provide the opportunity for you to contact them as well. If anyone ever has a problem or question in regard to their service from ABC, please know that I, and all of the staff, want to be able to have the opportunity to resolve your concerns. If necessary, please feel free to contact me directly at 281-653-5***.

I know I should probably stop here and point out some clear violations in Google’s Policies… But let’s just take note that this owners response gets even more hecklers….

Beware!!! scam‎‎
By Jon – May 11, 2010
There service is poor. and all the 5 star reviews are fraud, If you run back to page 3 or 4 you see that they are writing there own reviews, Tiffany writes one for the owner and also as customers. Funny how all the new reviews are by guest or anonymous and on the same days, and when they get a negative review they flood the pages with new reviews to wash the bad review 3 or 4 pages back. BEWARE!!‎

So here is the ugly side of reviews and adding responses… Yes. I am still shocked that Google has not penalized a company the blatantly stated they were adding reviews…. The world is so unjust.  And sorry, I am not here to just make fun of my competitors… It is simply the quickest way for me to reference the world from my perspective. If you have other reviews and responses that you’d prefer I added here than I am open for suggestions…. but since I am probably the mad scientist in the corner rambling to myself… and while we are on the subject…


Trying to invent a system that will cheat the reviews will not work.  I am not saying this because I cheated, I am saying this because I believe my company did it according to the rules too well and we still got axed. And besides… being a cheat and lying? …, adding fake reviews that could or could not bring in more sales ..??

…. What is the use if your service is not going to retain those sales?

And if you are getting legitimate reviews and ________ site does remove them than let me know, not that I can really help, but I would still like to hear your story. Review websites are just as much under the scrutiny of their users/customers as you and I are.