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Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley steps back from the company



Foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley has announced that he is stepping back from his full-time role at the company. During the first seven years of the company, he was the startup’s Chief Executive Officer. In 2016, Crowley moved to an executive chairman position. He’s also been running the Foursquare Labs R&D group since then.

Going forward, Crowley won’t be working full-time at the company. He’ll remain on the Board of Directors as co-chair with Factual founder Gil Elbaz.

In 2009, Foursquare was better known for its location-based social network. People would check in to locations to share what they’ve been up to with their friends. Users would earn badges and mayorships.

Over the years, the most active users had amassed thousands of checkins. Foursquare became a great app to keep track of places you like. You could also use it to discover your friends’ favorite places.

That’s why the company decided to split its main app into two separate apps — the Foursquare City Guide and Swarm. At the same time, the company started working on developer APIs and SDKs so that other companies could take advantage of Foursquare’s location data.

That business in particular has been quite lucrative. With the company’s Pilgrim SDK, developers can build location-aware apps. For instance, an advertiser can send a personalized notification based on where you are. Foursquare tries to be as accurate as possible and can sometimes even figure out when you enter or exit a venue.

That SDK enables many different possibilities. It’s easy to track the impact of an advertising campaign on online sales, but what about offline interest?

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Foursquare’s SDK can help advertisers and brands see whether an advertising campaign has an impact on foot traffic. Of course, you can also combine that data with other customer data.

The company has become an important advertising and marketing platform focused on location. Overall, the company has generated more than $100 million in revenue in 2020. And it plans to grow in 2021 and beat that number.


Crowley mentions two reasons why he’s leaving now. According to him, the company is doing well, and he’s been working on the same thing for 12 years already.

“Foursquare hasn’t just found its way… it leads the way. I used to say that my goal was to make the name ‘Foursquare’ synonymous with ‘innovation in contextual aware computing’… And, here in 2021, we’ve built the tools and frameworks that can make that so,” Crowley writes in a blog post.

“Also, 12 years is a lot of time. I have lots of things I still want to build — many of which don’t fit neatly into the Foursquare of 2021 (and, hey fellow founder, it’s fine to feel this way!),” he adds. He’s also going to spend some well-deserved time with his family.

Crowley has been an iconic startup founder during the Web 2.0 era. He managed to attract tens of millions of users. It’s clear that he’s been a great product CEO during the early years of the company. And now, the company is also generating revenue. So it’s going to be interesting to see what he builds next.

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Google December Product Reviews Update Affects More Than English Language Sites? via @sejournal, @martinibuster



Google’s Product Reviews update was announced to be rolling out to the English language. No mention was made as to if or when it would roll out to other languages. Mueller answered a question as to whether it is rolling out to other languages.

Google December 2021 Product Reviews Update

On December 1, 2021, Google announced on Twitter that a Product Review update would be rolling out that would focus on English language web pages.

The focus of the update was for improving the quality of reviews shown in Google search, specifically targeting review sites.

A Googler tweeted a description of the kinds of sites that would be targeted for demotion in the search rankings:

“Mainly relevant to sites that post articles reviewing products.

Think of sites like “best TVs under $200″.com.

Goal is to improve the quality and usefulness of reviews we show users.”



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Google also published a blog post with more guidance on the product review update that introduced two new best practices that Google’s algorithm would be looking for.

The first best practice was a requirement of evidence that a product was actually handled and reviewed.

The second best practice was to provide links to more than one place that a user could purchase the product.

The Twitter announcement stated that it was rolling out to English language websites. The blog post did not mention what languages it was rolling out to nor did the blog post specify that the product review update was limited to the English language.

Google’s Mueller Thinking About Product Reviews Update

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Product Review Update Targets More Languages?

The person asking the question was rightly under the impression that the product review update only affected English language search results.



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But he asserted that he was seeing search volatility in the German language that appears to be related to Google’s December 2021 Product Review Update.

This is his question:

“I was seeing some movements in German search as well.

So I was wondering if there could also be an effect on websites in other languages by this product reviews update… because we had lots of movement and volatility in the last weeks.

…My question is, is it possible that the product reviews update affects other sites as well?”

John Mueller answered:

“I don’t know… like other languages?

My assumption was this was global and and across all languages.

But I don’t know what we announced in the blog post specifically.


But usually we try to push the engineering team to make a decision on that so that we can document it properly in the blog post.

I don’t know if that happened with the product reviews update. I don’t recall the complete blog post.

But it’s… from my point of view it seems like something that we could be doing in multiple languages and wouldn’t be tied to English.

And even if it were English initially, it feels like something that is relevant across the board, and we should try to find ways to roll that out to other languages over time as well.

So I’m not particularly surprised that you see changes in Germany.

But I also don’t know what we actually announced with regards to the locations and languages that are involved.”

Does Product Reviews Update Affect More Languages?

While the tweeted announcement specified that the product reviews update was limited to the English language the official blog post did not mention any such limitations.

Google’s John Mueller offered his opinion that the product reviews update is something that Google could do in multiple languages.


One must wonder if the tweet was meant to communicate that the update was rolling out first in English and subsequently to other languages.

It’s unclear if the product reviews update was rolled out globally to more languages. Hopefully Google will clarify this soon.


Google Blog Post About Product Reviews Update

Product reviews update and your site

Google’s New Product Reviews Guidelines

Write high quality product reviews

John Mueller Discusses If Product Reviews Update Is Global

Watch Mueller answer the question at the 14:00 Minute Mark

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