About 2 weeks ago, Yelp announced that they would be partnering with Yahoo!. As of a few days ago, Yelp also announced a partnership with Yellow Pages.
What Does This Mean For You?
Yelp online reviews are now more pervasive. It also means that other review sites have now grown in importance, such as industry-specific review sites such as Cars.com and Healthgrades.com. The merging of the more all-encompassing review sites indicates that focusing on these particular review sites becomes less of a priority. The merging of Yelp reviews into the Yahoo! and Yellow Pages platforms also indicates a decline in both of these review sites’ prioritization of their own reviews. Much like how Yahoo! sold their search sector to Microsoft was an indication of their move away from search and focusing instead on their other sectors.
As of this writing, duplicate Yelp reviews on Yahoo! and Yellow Pages may hinder your SEO. This implies a need to further diversify unique reviews across many different review sites. Essentially, having Yelp reviews being duplicated across these two additional platforms may devalue their importance; the reviews become redundant and less unique and fresh.
What this means for these two companies is:
•Distribution/exposure to each other’s consumer databases. Yelp will, in effect, indirectly gain access to Yellow Pages’s 4,000-strong sales force.
•Yellow Pages will gain the full range of profile features and capabilities associated with Yelp’s “branded profile” (call to action button, slideshows, ROI metrics, etc.)
Essentially, Yelp will pull data from existing Yellow Pages profiles and include all of its existing branding. However, this does not guarantee the removal of competitor ads on profile pages of Yellow Pages advertisers on Yelp.
According to the article “Yelp and YP Enter Into “Strategic” Content, Distribution Partnership” by Greg Sterling at Search Engine Land, “YP has great mobile network reach in particular and is the third largest US mobile ad network by revenues (per eMarketer) after Google and Facebook.”
As for the partnership with Yahoo!, users will now see data from Yelp populating into existing Yahoo! Local profiles accompanied by “Reviews on Yelp” at the top of each page. This is not dissimilar from how Bing currently pulls data from Yelp, due to a partnership launch that occurred in 2012. Bing is the search engine run by Microsoft, who Yahoo! sold their search sector to in 2009. (Source: “Yelp Partners With Bing To Enhance Bing’s Local Search Pages” by Sara Perez at Tech Crunch)
Stay tuned for a follow-up blog post on how this may affect business owners’ website SEO!