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Photo by Cgord at the English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

You don’t see too many companies that start with A1 any more. Kids, there used to be a book called a “telephone book” where the phone numbers of people and businesses was published every year. Businesses were published in alphabetical order. So, you went to the plumbing section and started to dial plumbers.

The first businesses who renamed themselves A1 were gaming the system. They understood how the listing worked and how people were looking up businesses, and then adapted. There are very few ZZZ plumbers out there.

Businesses “game” the system all the time. It’s a matter of adapting. Spam linking to increase page rank, keyword stuffing, fake reviews — all of them to increase the likelihood of being found. From a consumer perspective, we’d rather know what’s real and what’s just a product of marketing.

There’s still lots of room for transparency in business assessment and reviews. There is still an opportunity here.

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