Yahoo and Yelp Partner for a Bigger Search Push
Yelp is kind of like Facebook. Lots of people complain about the network but millions of people still turn to the site for information. In Q4 2013, Yelp had a monthly average of 120 million unique visitors. By the end of 2013, there were more than 53 million reviews posted to the site and more than 60% of those reviews were four stars or above. (Proof that not everyone uses the site to complain about bad service.)
Yahoo wants a piece of that, so they’re now including data from Yelp in business search results. And Yelp seems just as excited to join their alphabetical mate for this new venture:
With local searches making up about 25% of Yahoo’s search traffic, the demand for reliable local information is high, and we’re excited to make this experience even richer for Yahoo users. Across all categories of local business, from dog groomers and day spas to nightclubs and burger joints, trusted content from Yelp’s vibrant community of locals will help Yahoo users decide where to spend their money.
Of course, Google already has a similar set-up over on their side of the search playground but this once, I think I’m on Yahoo’s side. Take a look at the search results for the same restaurant: Yahoo with Yelp on the left, Google on the right.
Not so sharp, sorry. But you get the picture.
Visually, the Yahoo / Yelp result is much more intriguing. Logo and food photos, large buttons for directions and menus. Graphically, it just lays out better than Google’s version. On the other hand, Google’s result shows the building, which is very helpful if you’re trying to find the place for the first time. They also include a price estimate.
Yahoo has a link to the company website but the two sites can’t agree on what time the place closes today. Is it 10 or 11? Also note that the star rating is about the same but Google’s is based on only 22 reviews. Yahoo / Yelp has 131 reviews.
Overall, I’ve got to give this one to Yahoo. The layout looks nicer and I feel spurred on to action. Google’s version is just blah.
If you have high marks on Yelp, this collaboration with Yahoo could net you more business but don’t start hiring more workers just yet. The site only averages about 10% of the total volume of search traffic in the US. Still, I guess a little more exposure is better than none at all.