It’s ironic that the floral industry — purveyors of bright, smile-inducing flower arrangements and heartfelt gift items — might be using cut-throat marketing tactics to hurt local flower shops. And they might be getting help from major yellow pages providers to do it, while Yahoo seems to be turning a blind eye to what’s going on.
What am I talking about?
Cathy of Avante Gardens, a florist in Anaheim, wrote today about national flower suppliers using underhanded techniques to own local search queries. Cathy’s example is a Yahoo Local search for florists in Chicago:
“…the rest of the page is front-loaded with out-of-state call centers posing as Chicago florists. The listings including local phone exchanges forwarding calls thousands of miles away, phony map points and fake local addresses – all added to fool consumers.”
What’s more, Cathy points out that Yahoo’s “Edit This Listing” feature is disabled on these listings*, and she alleges that some user reviews which pointed out the non-local data have been deleted.
There’s a lot going on here, so start by reading Cathy’s post, and be sure to follow the link near the end to FloristDetective.com that adds more fuel to the fire about the relationship between not-so-local florists and yellow pages providers.
(Hat tip: Cathy, via comment on Rae’s blog)
* To be fair, I’m seeing some other, non-florist local listings which also have the “Edit This Listing” feature disabled.