• http://www.localsplash.com David Rodecker

    Same story could be said with literally all IYP’s. Frankly, I’m surprised that Google negotiated an agreement. Clearly they’re in the commanding position and not afraid to leverage it.

    What might be ideal is to direct crawlers to only index your meta-content page for search, but not content page displays… fat chance on getting that accepted.

  • http://smbSEO.com Mike Stewart

    Awesome post Greg. Anxious to hear a Google response on this.

    Interesting discussions behind closed doors exposed.

    I remember a post last year from Andrew Shotland titled “Dead Fingers Walking” that represents Google’s perspective on this… from Andrew Shotland’s perspective of course.

    Check it out: http://www.localseoguide.com/dead-fingers-walking/

  • https://googlerecords.starttest.com/?code=I007D0363FE660878FD78FC68036708D07300E3 David Kyle

    I’ve never been a fan of Yelp, considering their shady past and the unethical things they were doing.

    I think Google’s “all or nothing” position is a perfectly legitimate stance, and don’t view it as them being a “bully.” No one else has the right to pick and choose what and where they appear in the various Google products. Why should Yelp?

    If you put it out on the web for Google to see, then it’s fair game. If you don’t want Google to see it, there are ways to make that happen.

    There is nothing wrong with Google being self-interested. They are not a charity.

  • http://twitter.com/veezy veezy

    If Yelp was able to pull its content from Place pages (and not the index) before, then why can’t they do this again? Probably unlikely, but Yelp, Tripadvisor, et al. should band together and boycott G Places. Google is slowly inching across the fence into anti-trust territory.

  • http://www.sefati.net Alireza Sefati

    i think yelp should have sold to Google and cashed out. I don’t blame Google they want to return the most relevant results and if yelp doesn’t want to cooperate, then google won’t cooperate either…fair game if you ask me!

  • http://smbSEO.com Mike Stewart

    How is this Anti-Trust? Why should Google rank Yelp content in search results if Yelp wants to opt out of providing that content to Google.

    I say Yelp has the option of taking the ball and going home. I don’t see how this is anti-trust, more like a Tax or entry fee.

    I would hate to see a algo change like the Farmer Update impact Yelp…..

    nevermind… actually that might help some of my local clients rank above Yelp.

  • http://twitter.com/veezy veezy

    Google is leveraging the strength of their search product to “bully” their way into the local market. Don’t get me wrong, it’s brilliant on their part and there are no doubt winners (SMBs) and losers (IYPs). However, I believe this continued behavior will eventually come back to bite Google in the butt.

  • dstiehr

    I don’t understand Stoppleman’s assertion that they get no value at all from reviews appearing on Place pages. I have to think some traffic is coming Yelp’s way via the link associated with the reviews, with people wanting to read more similar reviews from the site.

    @David Rodecke – the IYPs love to have their content in SERP results and Place pages. they use it as a selling point, saying it extends the reach of their product. I can’t see them ever complaining about being included.

  • http://screenwerk.com Greg Sterling

    RWW’s piece is sympathetic to Google vs. Yelp. And tells Yelp to stop “whining.” Since Google won’t tell its side of the story we don’t know everything here.

  • http://www.facesaerch.com/blog/ franz enzenhofer

    @dsthier I have to think some traffic is coming Yelp’s way via the link associated with the reviews, with people wanting to read more similar reviews from the site.

    no, the click through rate on google places pages to the review provider is abysmal.

    google is hardcoding it’s local search results into their SERP while using aggregated content from other proividers on their landingpage – landingpages that do not benifit the content providers in any way but are a direct competition to their core business.

    it would not be an issue if google would play fair – if google places would be treated like any other “local directory and review” (aggregator) site … but they don’t.

    but yeah, google is hurting themselve with this step, i did a lot of consulting work to businesses in the local business directory space and some time ago the discussion shifted … away from the open internet to mobile apps and facebook. (which in my opinion is a sad thing, the open internet is a cool place to be, but well, for companies only if the marketplace (a.k.a. google) if fair).

    this is my private opinion, not those of the companies i’m associated with.

  • http://www.canuckseo.com Jim Rudnick

    Umm…@Greg…this line “One might call that “seo-icide.” is absolutely spot-on!

    Like it, I do and it’s also currently looking like this will happen too, eh!



  • http://www.southbayevents.com James Dervish

    I agree it’s hypocritical of Yelp to scold Google for exerting their power. Yelp calls 3 times a week to get me to pay for an Enhanced Listing for my small business, with threats that if I don’t, they’ll make me suffer. They have a sordid past themselves, and in a dark alley, I’d trust Google over Yelp to not beat and rob me.

  • http://myunster.com Evgeny Myunster

    It sounds pretty fair, I second Google, moreover from user perspective Google does right thing