State of California: California Launches Dedicated Small Business Portal Ahead of National Small Business Week

State of California: California Launches Dedicated Small Business Portal Ahead of National Small Business Week. “California’s Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA), part of the Governor’s Office of Business Economic Development (GO-Biz), today announced the launch of calosba.ca.gov – a website that connects California’s small business community with critical resources available through state-funded small business technical assistance program and other state resources.”

KGW: Fake review attack targets Portland businesses

KGW: Fake review attack targets Portland businesses. “KGW Investigates learned of at least twenty pest control companies in the Portland metro area that have received dozens of fake one-star reviews on their Google business profiles over the last year. The reviews were not left by unhappy customers with a gripe — they’re fake, computer-generated and designed to hurt a company’s reputation. The fake reviews have lowered the companies’ Google ratings, cost them thousands of dollars in lost revenue and tarnished the reliability of the rating system for consumers.”

Search Engine Land: How Google and Yelp handle fake reviews and policy violations

Search Engine Land: How Google and Yelp handle fake reviews and policy violations. “Unfortunately, bad actors may seek to harm a business’s online reputation through fake reviews or by crowding them out with fake listings. While Yelp and Google both have extensive systems and policies to fight bad actors, there are important distinctions that every local marketer should be aware of, and knowing them can help frame your expectations for each platform as well as enable you to make more informed decisions about where to spend your time and resources.”

Bismarck Tribune: New online local foods map launched in North Dakota

Bismarck Tribune: New online local foods map launched in North Dakota. “‘The new map catalogs the state’s local producers, the type of food they sell and where the consumer can buy it,’ Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. ‘The map is a great tool to connect with and support local growers and producers.’ The map also shows on-farm sales, roadside stands, community-supported agriculture, retail food businesses, u-picks, wholesale options, online ordering opportunities and more.”

KnowTechie: Alphabet’s Wing drone has now delivered over 10,000 cups of coffee

KnowTechie: Alphabet’s Wing drone has now delivered over 10,000 cups of coffee. “In a blog post on the company’s website, Wing celebrated its success ahead of the company’s two-year anniversary in September. The company, a subsidiary of Google’s parent company Alphabet, is quickly approaching 100,000 deliveries overall. Of those near 100,000 deliveries, more than 50,000 have come in one city in the last eight months alone.”

SEO Roundtable: Google Local Result With Reviews From The Web & Independent Sites

SEO Roundtable: Google Local Result With Reviews From The Web & Independent Sites. “Google seems to be testing a new way of showing reviews in the local listing for some businesses. Brandon Schmidt spotted Google showing not just the number of reviews with the review summary in stars, but where Google labels if the reviews are ‘from the web’ or from ‘independent sites.’” Apparently you can’t click it, it’s just a piece of data. What’s the point?

The Verge: OpenTable adds a new ‘verified’ tag for restaurants to check vaccine status

The Verge: OpenTable adds a new ‘verified’ tag for restaurants to check vaccine status. “OpenTable is adding a new feature that will let restaurants tag diners as ‘verified’ for meeting entry requirements. The initial — and obvious — use of the verification feature will be for restaurants to log guests who are vaccinated for COVID-19, but the feature could also be used to do things like confirm a diner is of legal drinking age or other requirements for entry.”

Oregon Live: Chinook Winds casino closes for at least two weeks due to coronavirus

Oregon Live: Chinook Winds casino closes for at least two weeks due to coronavirus. “One of the Oregon coast’s most popular attractions is temporarily shutting down, as a COVID-19 surge has led to record numbers of cases and hospitalizations in Oregon. The Chinook Winds Casino Resort in Lincoln City announced Thursday that it had closed to the public with a goal to reopen two weeks later on Aug. 26.”

Fast Company: Local food delivery companies say Google devastated their business

Fast Company: Local food delivery companies say Google devastated their business. “Say you live in Asheville, North Carolina (like I do), and you get a hankering for some of the city’s beloved BBQ. You might start with a Google search, which provides plenty of options. Clicking on a specific BBQ joint brings up a box with handy information such as a star rating, the address, business hours, and phone number. These restaurant listings, which appear in search and Maps, also often include an item called ‘Order,’ with links to big-name delivery services such as DoorDash and Grubhub. What you probably won’t see are local services like Delivery Now or Takeout Central—companies that were delivering meals a decade or more before the national giants were a twinkle in a founder’s eye.

The Lily: More places are requiring proof of vaccination. LGBTQ bars led the way.

The Lily: More places are requiring proof of vaccination. LGBTQ bars led the way.. “As the delta variant surges, a wave of LGBTQ bars across the country have been similarly prescient in their policies, requiring proof of vaccination for entry before or just after their cities implemented mask mandates and other precautions to curb the spread of the virus. LGBTQ people characterize the bars’ vaccine precautions as part of a legacy of activism to protect the health of LGBTQ people, adding that the requirements are also indicative of the important roles LGBTQ bars play as safe spaces within the communities they serve.”

Yelp Blog: Yelp Helps Businesses Communicate Vaccination Requirements

Yelp Blog: Yelp Helps Businesses Communicate Vaccination Requirements. “With the uncertainty surrounding the spread of the COVID Delta variant, we’re seeing an increasing number of businesses implement new safety measures to protect their employees and communities. To help consumers understand how a business is currently operating as pandemic guidelines continue to evolve, today, Yelp is announcing two new, free attributes – ‘Proof of vaccination required’ and ‘All staff fully vaccinated.’”