Is Facebook Influencing Oath Inc’s Privacy Terms

Reactions from Facebook’s congressional hearings have ranged from bemused to downright terrified. Yet while the hearings were going on, other companies were in the process of changing their own privacy terms.  From Yahoo to AOL, new privacy terms further detail how the company collects data from its users.

A New Eye On Privacy

Privacy policies are nothing new, nor are the elements that make some of those policies seem less than ideal for the consumer. It’s only now the virtual world is taking a closer look thanks to the trials and tribulations of Facebook. And it’s not just their stock that’s gone down in the public eye; everyone is wondering just how much of their information is out there, and what other companies the general public should be keeping an eye on.

Oath Inc.

One of the companies now in the spotlight is Oath Inc., a subsidiary of Verizon. Verizon is already a well-known company. But in 2017, Verizon placed AOL and the newly acquired Yahoo! under the Oath umbrella. This means that HuffPost, MapQuest, and Tech Crunch (subsidiaries of AOL) as well as Flickr, Tumblr, and Yahoo! Mail (subsidiaries of Yahoo!) could be affected.

What the New Policies State

Oath’s new privacy terms  focus on a few key points.  Oath states they make “educated guesses about your interests based on your activity on Oath’s brands, websites, apps, products, services or technologies.”
These automated systems pull in the information you’re looking up or the places you’re engaging with including “sent,” “received,” and “stored, including communications content from [Oath-related brands]” synced with your account. These places include but are not limited to:
  • Mail
  • instant messages
  • SMS messages
  • “information financial institutions are allowed to send over email”
  • “all photos and other content uploaded to your account.”

All of this is done in the name of advertisement targeting.

What It Means

If you’ve ever looked up baby shower gifts then suddenly been bombarded by everything from strollers to breast pumps, you have an innate understanding of targeted advertising. Oath’s automated systems create an environment where even if that surprise baby shower was a secret, it’s certainly not a secret when it comes to advertising.

That being said, there are a few caveats to how Oath uses your data. For one, Oath insists messages are only shared with people you want. But, as it states in their privacy terms, Oath may “anonymously or pseudonymously share specific objects from a message with a 3rd party.” And yes, if you have Yahoo Mail, the company “respects your choice to opt out of interest-based ads.”

Fear Not The Zuck

While congress and the media  fanatically “expose” Facebook (which DOES NOT SHARE IT’S CUSTOMER DATA WITH 3RD PARTIES) it seems that Oath is taking advantage of a little misdirection.  Then again, these emails services are FREE.  Don’t like it?  Don’t use free email services.

Keep Up To Date

If there’s one thing that never changes, it’s just how much things change over time. With a greater focus on privacy issues, chances are likely that we will see a shift in privacy terms and the politics that guide them.
At ReviewInc, we value your privacy. That is why ReviewInc is independently certified by HIPAAMart to be HIPAA compliant. ReviewInc also maintains a strict privacy policy. If ever there’s a concern about privacy or how this can effect reputation management, look no further than a ReviewInc expert.

Want more information? Interested in a free consultation with an expert? Click below!

Review Management Software

Review Management Software

The internet has taken over every part of our lives. It helps us connect with friends and family while providing information, access and entertainment. But one surprising thing that has happened in the past several years is the aggregated knowledge and wisdom that are review sites.

Yes, a lot of us ask a friend here and there what kind of vacuum to buy or who is the best dentist, but now it’s just as easy to Google the BEST vacuum, dentist, restaurant, or car dealership local to you. It’s true: we trust the internet like an old and dear friend, so it’s no wonder that we as consumers are putting our lives in the hand of ratings and reviews online.

Look Who’s Talking Now

If we as consumers are influenced by reviews online, we as business owners are directly affected. Review sites have gained importance over the past several years by a factor of over 19%. Everyone from Baby Boomers with discretionary income to Millennials are contributing to the popularity of review sites. In fact, when people were asked what is most important when choosing a service or professional, a recent study conducted by ReviewInc showed that 40% of those surveyed said they relied on review sites including Google, Facebook and Yelp to help determine which product or service they choose.

How Does This Affect Your Business?

If your business has ten locations or even one, chances are your business can be found online. Whether you like it or not, people are judging your business, often by a count of stars. This is your business reputation and it’s in the hands of the public where potential customers read these reviews, and choose your business over a competitor.

Even if your star rating is high, it does not mean that you are getting customers in the door. You are still competing with other like businesses in the virtual world and some of these businesses may have a higher star rating than your business, a larger review count, and a more established online presence.

Alternatively, let’s say that you are the business with the established online presence, however just one poor rating posted recently can directly affect your business in a negative way. Since most review sites have the option of showing the most recent reviews, customers may see the recent negative review as a change in the quality of your product or service and steer away from your business.

Time Is Money

Now that you know that your business has an online reputation to manage, there are a few other things to keep in mind. After you’ve established your online business presence and claimed all of your business pages, there’s a matter of management.

More and more, you’re engaging with customers on and offline. Following up with every single customer can be time-consuming, especially when you don’t always see all of the reviews posted all the time. This is an added (and necessary task) on your plate to deal with, and time is money.

The Solution: Review Management Software

Recent studies have illustrated just how critical the right reviews are when it comes to the revenue and growth of a company. As we say at ReviewInc, “Negative reviews hurt emotionally and financially and they are not going away on their own!” The solution to this problem is none other than review management software.

There are plenty of sufficient review management systems out there, however your question should be, how can the software accommodate your need?

Age Is But a Number

In our last post, we discussed how age and gender affected consumerism. Women over the age of 55, the largest consumer group worldwide, are a part of the group that read the most reviews. Millennials, often described as born between 1980 and 1996, makes their choices through conversations. That’s why it is so important to not just be visible online, but to have a conversation and connect with those customers leaving and looking for reviews.

Review management software should meet this need. This software should let you see all of the reviews from review sites pulled in under one main dashboard, and should also allow you to respond easily with just one click.


These days, people don’t want to be told what they want. They want to choose for themselves. This is the case with older generations but is especially the case for the Millennial Generation as they reach their peak consumer spending.

But before they even leave a review, why not connect with your customer before they even leave a review? Great software should also be able to allow you to upload contacts or automatically pull in contacts from CRMs so you can easily message customers and see what they have to say. Once you’ve seen this feedback, you can engage with them in a way that will positively impact your business.

The Cherry on Top

It’s not just seeing everything and engaging. Review management software should also have additional components to make managing your reputation easier. For example, being able to create testimonial pages for your business website and Facebook page highlight all of that positive private feedback you’ve been getting in the platform.

But there should be so much more reputation software should do. If you are on the go or tend to use a tablet, you should be able to see and do everything in the platform. It is important to find something that doesn’t just provide a “light” app but allows you 24/7 secure and stable access whether you’re in your office or on the go.

Where Can You Find This Software?

Luckily, there is a review management software available that does all of these things and so much more. It also comes with professional reputation management experts available during regular business hours. Want more information? Interested in a free consultation with an expert? Click below!

Best Advertising Channel 2018

In the last five years, ReviewInc conducted several studies of over 15,000 U.S. Consumers asking what they seek out most before selecting a business, service or product. Now, with five years of data, the answer is clear: Review Sites are the most critical to the purchase decision.

The study asked consumers to provide only one answer to the following simple question:
When choosing a service or professional (such as a doctor, mechanic, plumber, attorney, etc.) what is most important?

Each respondent was provided with a multiple choice list from which they could only choose one answer. While multiple answers could have been allowed, ReviewInc wanted a more discerning answer so that it could pinpoint what was most influential to the consumer.  This method has been applied to all the surveys form 2013 through 2018.

The Five Year Trend

In this year’s result, Review Sites again topped the list for the most influential component. This is followed by a company’s website (as in previous years). What was more interesting was the year over year trend. The importance of review sites continued to increase by a factor of over 19% from 2014. The company website‘s influence remained steady within the margin of error which could account for the very slight decline. The influence of the traditional yellow pages continued declined, albeit slower than anticipated. Online advertising also appears to have remained stable compared to last year.  The “Other” category gained the most presumably from the use of personal interactions on social media such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.

Females Versus Males

In the last 3 years, females outpaced males in choosing review sites as their most influential source. This is beneficial for businesses engaged in reputation management as global spending by women is estimated to be a whopping $18 Trillion in 20181.  Considering that females tend to spend more than males, businesses should pay closer attention to their reviews. More specifically, Baby Boomer women are undermarketed2 but spend the most time choosing to look at review sites, an undeveloped “gold mine” for businesses maintaining their reputation online.

The Generation Gap

Some age groups displayed a significant increase in preference for Review Sites while other age groups decreased. Of particular interest was the more affluent generations (ages 45 and up) showed a significant increase in the choice of Review Sites.  

The younger age groups exhibit a decline due to a variety of factors that created a different economic environment for a generation fairly recent to adulthood. While the younger portion of the millennial generation is still paying for education, the older part of the generation is still in debt; while spending increases with things like homes and starting family, the baby boom of 1987 placed the crux of Millennials in or just leaving university during the Great Recession (between 2008-2009).

What’s more is the amount and use of income has changed. According to Morgan Stanley3, from 2005 to 2012, the average amount of student debt has near doubled from over $13,000 to over $24,000, leaving the majority of a generation in debt. Previous generations had more disposable income, spending far more on dining and entertainment. Millennials and some of Generation X is still fighting their way through debt; according to Mother Jones6, Millennials spent only 81% of their income, a 10% decrease from the Reagan era.

As the younger generations are in fact more cautious about their spending, and may  turn to social media and friends more than the review sites themselves. Long gone is the need for linear marketing techniques. What newer generations want is a conversation, and review sites built by Generation X and Millennials alike have to find a way to meet this new need for engagement. This is especially the case as the Millennial generation reaches their peak consumption years.  This underscores the importance of Responding to Reviews on popular sites such as Google Maps and Facebook.

The Older Generations

While Millennials and Gen-Xers are in their peak consumption years, According to AARP’s Venture Capital Review4, Baby Boomers (ages 53 and over) by far spend the most across all product categories, and their spending will only increase over the next 20 years due to retirement, health care, and their high discretionary income.

This is reflected in the age groups that choose reviews on review sites like Google Facebook, and Yelp. In great contrast to 2017, 2018 is illustrating that those over the age of 45 are more likely to use review sites than those under the age of 44. As 70 % of the disposable income5 is controlled by Baby Boomers and the older generations are choosing to spend their time on review sites, reputation management becomes an even more integral part of maintaining businesses both on and offline.

Decline of Yellow Pages

Speaking of the traditional yellow pages, we can readily observe the difference between this year’s survey results and those of 2014. Interest and preference in using the traditional yellow pages are down by around 40% from only three years ago. The decline is most apparent, again, in the older generations.   Our only surprise here is that it is taking longer for the traditional paper-based Yellow Pages to decline in usage.

What’s the Takeaway?

  • The importance and influence of Online Reviews is critical to your business (much more than your website)
  • If you’re neglecting the investment in your online reputation, you could be missing out on big revenue growth opportunities.
  • Make sure your reputation management solution integrates and leverages social media.
  • Make sure to respond to reviews and create a “conversation” especially if you serve those under the age of 35.

Interested in a free consultation on how to improve your online reviews and overall reputation management? Give us a call at 877-973-8439 or email us at to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.



  1. Source: Forbes “Want A Piece Of The 18 Trillion Dollar Female Economy? Start With Gender Bias”
  2. Source: American Marketing Association “Baby Boomer Women Remain Invisible to Marketers”
  3. Source: Morgan Stanley “Generations Change How Spending is Trending”
  4. Source: AARP Venture Capital Review Issue 29
  5. Source: Nielson: Introducing Boomers, Marketing’s Most Valuable Generation
  6. Source: Mother Jones “What Do Millennials Spend All Their Money On?”


Real Estate Agents Can no Longer Afford to Operate “The Old Fashioned Way”

Well-honed “people skills” are a vital attribute for real estate agents, along with local knowledge, marketing talents, attention to details and negotiating skills. Increasingly, however, not only first contacts but a large and growing segment of real estate business is conducted online rather than face-to-face.

70818636_m Real Estate Online

It’s Not Just Property That’s Listed Online Anymore

The “old-fashioned” MLS Listing Book has all but disappeared from the real estate landscape, and the vast majority of prospective buyers first view listings online. That trend has brought about important changes in property descriptions and mandated a need for better photographs. Online listings have also all but eliminated the need for onsite open houses, and printed property flyers.

A similar evolution is underway in terms of the way clients select real estate agents. Those who are ahead of the curve have already taken steps to establish a “virtual portrait” of themselves and the services they offer. It requires a different set of skills. But it is a vital step. Agents who neglect their online presence are going to fall behind in their efforts to represent sellers and find prospective buyers. Those clients who prefer in-office meetings and exchanging business cards in person will never disappear, but the new age of marketing points in a different direction.

Developing a distinctive online presence is not only a smart professional move, it will soon become the primary method of building a successful real estate career. Traditional marketing, advertising and networking can remain an effective way to get your name and your face in front of the public. Involvement in service organizations and charitable events cements an agent’s reputation as a decent human being with a “life” apart from the business.

However, future clients are much more likely to travel to a website rather than to an office to satisfy their curiosity and explore your listings. They are also likely to read online testimonials and ratings before they will ask neighbors and business associates for agent recommendations. And the reach of an active social media presence is immense. Think of the potential: Your market is no longer limited to the local geographic area. The internet can bring clients from anywhere in the world!

Think About How the World Sees You

Online reputation management is an important part of the new world. However, it might be something requires expert help. It involves a more thoughtful approach than having a website and posting occasionally to Facebook or Instagram. A limited or poorly-executed online presence might have the effect of driving business away.

Digital marketing and web design experts can be instrumental in helping real estate agents optimize exposure, manage content, boost engagement rates and assure that the digital “picture” is one that speaks of success. That’s a foundation on which to build even greater exposure. The goal is to project an image of authority and solid achievement while still appearing approachable and personable. It’s a balancing act that many agents manage extremely well in person but have not yet mastered on the digital page. And this is definitely not the place to seek advice of a “digital native” like a teenage son!

Your business or personal website should be the starting point. It’s perfectly appropriate to have a page on a shared website, expanding that to a well-thought-out complementary presence on social media sites tailored to the audience you want to reach.

Offer prospective clients a variety of pertinent and topical information by writing a weekly blog post. Discuss local market trends on a monthly basis, explain financing options and real estate terms; offer advice on credit management, or promote local events and charitable efforts. Interact with the local community through social media and develop an online community to boost engagement and build referrals.

It will take time, but it will define your business success for the future. Don’t be left out in the cold!

Dylan SnyderDylan Snyder is a team leader and real estate consultant at The Snyder Group – Keller Williams Realty Luxury Homes. His business is augmented by his high-caliber team of seasoned buyer specialists and a dedicated marketing department.

5 Reasons Businesses Avoid Managing Their Online Reputation

While many businesses have embraced Reviews Management as a core part of their marketing activities and business process, some businesses fail to see the benefits. Here are the 5 top reasons businesses stop short of managing their online reputations:

15384843 - obsolete technology concept with a trashcan5. “It’ Not A Priority” – Old School Thinking

Businesses may not have review software because they don’t know they’re online. Whether you’re on social media or not, most local businesses are already found online. A patron of their establishment may have written a review. Or, a business listing site already has you in their database. Whatever the reason, you’re already online. And if you’re online, looking into those reviews is a priority to see who is talking about you and why.


4. My Reviews Are “Good Enough”

If you have taken a look at your reviews, you may think your reviews are “good enough.” But Local Search results (people who search for a business like yours on Google) impact not only by the number of reviews but by how recent they are, as well. That means if you have reviews that are several months or even years old, you are probably getting outranked by your competition with more recent reviews. Take a look at your competitors and see how they’re faring in comparison. It’s never too late to be the leader of the pack.RecentReviews


3. A Handful of Reviews on One Review Site Is Enough

When potential customers search for a business like yours, they are most attracted to businesses with good ratings on many review sites. Focusing on review on just one review site doesn’t cut it.  The search results for your business will be limited when you lack reviews on multiple review sites.  This is because the search engines favor businesses with reviews on many review sites.  Put the effort it to get reviews on review sites and you will reap the rewards of increased business.



2. Fear of Getting Negative Feedback76347565 - angry woman surrounded by negative comments in white speech bubbles

It’s okay, we’ve all been here. Whether the last time you got negative review was back in grade school or just yesterday, negative feedback can be a scary thing. But negative feedback can be the best teacher and it can tell you how to unlock the potential of your business. For example, a doctor can be a great practitioner who is popular with her patients, but the receptionist in her office is a curmudgeon. The doctor didn’t realize this until she read the feedback from her patience. Once she addressed the problem, she saw an increase in referrals. ReviewInc’s software allows you to see all feedback privately before it goes public. Now, you can worry less about the Negative Nellies posting publicly. Plus, you can use their feedback to see how you can improve your business in the future.



1. It’s Too Costly11637913 - coins in hand.

Sometimes it feels like there’s software and apps for everything, and they all cost money. When it comes to reputation management software, it’s well worth it. Managing your customer feedback and online reviews takes time, effort and consistency. More importantly, several university studies have correlated a good online reputation with increased business revenue. The Return On Investment (ROI) alone should satisfy any business owner or Chief Financial Officer.

In the end, it’s not about how much money reputation management software costs, but instead how can you afford not to. ReviewInc is here to make your transition through reputation management easy. Contact Us or Give us a call at 877-973-8439 or email us at if you have any questions or would like to schedule a training.76347262 - hands holding speech bubbles with comments around a smiling woman