WSJ: Local Businesses Losing Reviews After Yelp-Yahoo Deal

yahoo-yelp-600 The recent Yelp/Yahoo partnership has angered some local business owners who say years of positive reviews are now gone from their Yahoo Local business listings. Some of their stories were told this week in the Wall Street Journal, including Colonial Hardwood Flooring of Lexington, Mass. The company says it had built up "six years of mostly positive feedback" on its Yahoo Local listing, but now it only shows one Yelp review that was posted on February 14, 2014. Colonial Hardwood's owner tells the WSJ that "it's a slap in the face that they took all those reviews down overnight." A [...]

Yelp and YP Enter Into “Strategic” Content, Distribution Partnership

YP + Yelp YP and Yelp have announced a strategic partnership that will in the near future provide YP advertisers with an enhanced presence on Yelp and effectively bring Yelp into the YP Local Ad Network. There is probably a revenue sharing deal in the background but the parties declined to discuss terms. Yelp has existing content deals with Yahoo, Bing, Apple and others. However, this YP deal is quite different than those, which are mainly about the inclusion of Yelp reviews content in local search results. Under the terms of this deal, as I understand them, YP advertisers will gain access to the [...]

Yahoo Goes Live With Yelp Local Reviews

yahoo-featured Last month the Wall Street Journal reported that Yelp reviews were being integrated into Yahoo search results. This morning Yahoo formally announced the partnership: Now when you use Yahoo Search to look up a local business in the U.S. on your smartphone, tablet, or PC, you’ll see user reviews, business information, and star ratings from Yelp. We’ve also added a new photo viewing experience to show high-quality photos from Yelp, other partners, and the businesses themselves. The information is equally available from Yahoo Search and Maps. When you click on "read all  . . .  reviews" or [...]

Time For SMBs To Tackle – Or Be Tackled By – Online Reviews

reviews-240px So much of search focuses on being found. But being found doesn’t do much good unless you’re also chosen. The only thing worse than not being found is being found and rejected from consideration. There’s no doubt that online reviews play an increasingly central role in the consumer path to purchase. Research consistently shows that the vast majority of consumers -- as high as 9 in 10 consumers, in one survey -- say they are being influenced by both positive and negative reviews during their decision process. Yet, despite this clear trend in consumer shopping behavior, a surprising [...]

Yelp Supersizes Its Local Profiles, Makes Them Less Busy

yelp-icon Yelp has redesigned parts of its web UI to make them more visual and to surface more information. In particular business profile pages have been changed to emphasize images, featured user reviews and key pieces of local content, all of which are now more prominent. The changes are not yet live for me, which is a happy event. I was able to capture a "before" image of San Francisco sushi restaurant Tataki South. The "after" view of the profile below is supplied by Yelp. The screenshot below is the same business profile. Information like business hours is easier to see. Review highligh [...]

Yahoo Turns To Yelp To Beef Up Local Search

Yahoo-Yelp deal According to a report appearing today in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Yahoo will be incorporating local content and listings from Yelp into its main search results. As the article points out, Yelp has a similar deal with Microsoft-Bing and, of course, with Apple (maps). Yelp has an API that permits third parties to use a portion of its reviews and local listings content. The Bing deal, announced in June of last year, is a more elaborate version of that with a deeper integration. Below is a screenshot of how Yelp content is shown in Bing search results today: Yahoo has recently sta [...]

Yelp Reports $233 Million In Revenue For 2013, Up 69 Percent From 2012

yelp-logo-featured Yelp released its 4Q 2013 financial results today, reporting end of year net revenue at $233 million, representing 69 percent year-over-year growth from 2012. While delivering the earnings report call, Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman said, "It was a phenomenal year for Yelp." Yelp's fourth quarter revenue in 2013 totaled $70.7 million, a 72 percent growth rate over 4Q 2012. Yelp also saw 47 percent year-over-year growth in cumulative reviews, with approximately 53 million reviews now on the site. Unique site visitors averaged 120 million per month, representing a 39 percent year-over-year gro [...]

4 Go-Tos To Make Online Reviews Work For Your Business

Yelp profile By now, everyone knows that online reviews can have a tremendous impact on consumers' purchasing decisions. Ultimately, a single review -- positive or negative -- can tip the scale in favor of one company over another. No doubt, the power of reviews on Google+, Yelp, Angie's List and other local search directories continues to mount. Review prominence in search results is also rising, as they often appear for a business just below their company website and make up the majority of the corresponding top 10 search results. Major search and review sites weight online reviews very highly, and [...]

Yelp Turns Up The Heat: 285 Consumer Alerts Issued Over Fake Reviews

yelp-alerts-featured It's been almost a year and a half since Yelp began issuing Consumer Alerts when a business on its site has been caught trying to get fake reviews; but after a cautious start, that program appears to be turning up the heat. According to an interview with CEO Jeremy Stoppelman in The Telegraph, Yelp has now slapped 285 businesses on its website with Consumer Alerts. When Yelp issued its first set of Consumer Alerts in October 2012, only eight local businesses were hit. Then last August, Yelp revealed that it had issued its second round of alerts. No specific numbers were shared, but the c [...]

VA Court Delivers Blow To Yelp, Free Speech Of Users

Yelp logo A Virginia state court of appeal has ruled that Yelp must disclose the real identities of seven individuals who posted anonymous, critical reviews of an Alexandria, Virginia carpet cleaning business, Hadeed Carpet. Yelp and free speech advocacy groups have decried the decision. Hadeed said that he didn't believe that any of the reviews came from actual customers and sued to get Yelp to reveal the identities of the individuals in question. Yelp refused and the court granted Hadeed's lawyer's motion to compel. Yelp appealed and the appellate court affirmed the lower court's ruling (full o [...]

Yelp: We’re Second Only To Google In Local Data Quality

Yelp logo Yelp has long maintained that the company has one of the best (if not the best) local data sets out there. There are third parties that have come up with findings that don't agree with that claim. Recently, Yelp decided to take matters into its own hands and benchmark itself and the quality of its local data against the competition. You can read in detail about Yelp's methodology in its blog post. The abbreviated version is the following: Yelp collected 1,000 US business locations in various categories and locations (including international). Yelp "hand verified" these businesses on [...]

Yelp Q3 2013 Revenue Up 68% At $61.2 Million For The Quarter

Yelp logo Yelp released its Q3 2013 earnings report today, posting a 68 percent growth in revenue from the third quarter of 2012, with net revenue at $61.2 million for the quarter ending on September 30, 2013. Cumulative reviews on Yelp have increased 42 percent year over year, climbing to 47.3 million. Average monthly unique visitors grew 41 percent year over year to 117 million. The number of business accounts on Yelp has grown to 57,200, representing 61 percent year over year growth. "We saw another quarter of strong momentum thanks to high-quality, authentic content contributed by Yelpers arou [...]

Yelp Triples The Search Filters On Its iOS App

yelp-icon Yelp quietly made a pretty big expansion of its search capabilities on iOS within the past week. The company's latest iOS app update included a new photo viewer, increased visibility of bookmarked businesses, improvements to review highlights ... and about 15 new search filters that should make it easier for users to find the specific types of businesses they're looking for. Before the update, Yelp's iOS app had seven filters including things like Price, Delivery, Offering a Deal and Distance. The update added 15 new filters: Takes Reservations Accepts Credit Cards Outdoor Seating [...]

Yelp Outs More Businesses With Another Batch Of Paid Review Alerts

yelp-alerts-featured Yelp's battle against phony reviews and unacceptable tactics to earn reviews continues today with the company posting another batch of "Consumer Alert" messages on business profile pages. This is the second time Yelp has announced that some businesses will be outed for trying to game its system. Back in October, Yelp put a message on eight business profile pages saying that those companies were "caught ... red-handed trying to buy fake reviews." The alert being posted today is slightly different. It tells consumers that Yelp "caught someone offering up cash, discounts, gift certificates [...]

The Key To Success In Local Lies In A Vertical Approach

YP Vertical offerings are playing an increasingly critical role, not only in attracting consumers and directing them to relevant local business listings, but also in providing consumers with the necessary tools to evaluate and directly make purchases. As verticals better enable consumers to simplify, speed up, and complete their path to purchase, local businesses need to ensure they have the framework in place to capture these new lead opportunities. Categories Have Always Been Important Over the years, local players have emphasized the importance of category search as a way to improve and q [...]

Yelp Reports Record Highs With $46 Million In Net Revenue For Q1 2013

Yelp logo Yelp released their first quarter 2013 earnings report today, announcing a 68 percent increase from Q1 2012 with $46 million in net revenue this quarter. CEO Jeremy Stoppelman started the earnings report webcast by stating the company had hit record highs in all core metric areas. Climbing to approximately 102 million, Yelp's average monthly unique visitors grew 43 percent year over year. Local business accounts reached approximately 45,000, a 63 percent increase year over year; and the number of reviews rose 42 percent year over year, with more than 39 million cumulative reviews on the [...]

Yelp Adds Restaurant Menus (And Images)

Following on the heels of Foursquare, YP and a few others in the local segment Yelp is adding restaurant menu information and pricing. With the unfortunate headline "Yelp Menus: Connecting People with Great Local Food Porn," the Yelp blog explains that menus will be paired with users' uploaded food images: Now you can not only read about that decadent chocolate raspberry truffle cheesecake swimming in a pool of hot fudge, you can see real users’ photos of said gut-busting dessert from every angle right alongside the menu item... Specifics on menu items, like description and price, will [...]

Yelp Buys Rival Qype For $50 Million To Consolidate Position In Europe

Screen Shot 2012-10-24 at 6.44.44 AM Qype was the European Yelp before Yelp was in Europe. Now Yelp has announced that it is acquiring the company for $50 million in a press release that also shares its "preliminary" Q3 revenue numbers. Founded in 2006 in Hamburg, Germany, Qype operates throughout Western Europe, with the UK and Germany its strongest properties. In a blog post Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman says that Qype  has "more than two million reviews of local businesses" and 15 million monthly uniques. However that number actually appears to be down from 17 million uniques reported in November 2010. If that's accurate i [...]

After Sting Operation, Yelp Outs 8 Businesses That It Caught Trying To Buy Reviews

yelp-logo-featured Yelp is now showing "Consumer Alert" warning messages on the profile pages of eight businesses that it says it caught in a sting operation trying to buy reviews. As the New York Times reports, Yelp conducted a sting operation in which one of its employees pretended to be an "Elite" reviewer and responded to review solicitations on Craigslist. As the article explains: A pest control company offered $5 to anyone who would post a review that the business itself had written. The moving company was willing to pay $50 but wanted original copy. An appliance repair shop provided a start: "I really [...]

Restaurant Owner Slammed On Yelp For Supporting Obama

Image Credit: Yelp Over the weekend President Obama made a campaign stop at Big Apple Pizza in Ft. Pierce, Florida. The owner, Scott Van Duzer, is reportedly a registered Republican but is also a supporter of Obama. During a photo-op he bear-hugged Obama (with Secret Service permission). The story and the image (at right) received national media attention. Some anti-Obama and anti-Big Apple "protesters" called for a boycott of the place and fire-breathing opinions began showing up on Yelp after the event. They had nothing to do with the quality of the restaurant's food or service. Here are a number of exam [...]

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