Google continues to make tweaks to their local listings, with another update to the reviews section, labeled “Reviews from the web”. This encompasses up to 3 sites, like Yelp, but any site with the proper Schema markup can be included. This provides an opportunity for any publisher that aggregates and displays review data.
Google issued a reminder about unnatural linking, specifically related to widgets. They indicated that the webspam team could take manual action against unnatural links. This could, in turn, impact the search result rankings for the domain receiving those links. This warning might be indicative of some penalties(!) on the horizon.
The author highlights a few ways to identify when your competitors are browsing your site. He specifically mentions using their IP addresses, which only works if they are static or within a set range (also could for blocking when it comes to PPC Ads). But if this is attainable, a user can use log files and analytics to narrow down when, how, and with what equipment they are accessing your site.