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 and a range of competitors (see chart below).
- Yelp scored each category and competitor as follows: “we gave each data provider 1 point for each correct datum and 0 points for each incorrect or missing datum”
- Reviews were not part of the analysis since all the competitors examined didn’t have reviews
Point totals were translated into overall percentages by category and competitor. Here’s Yelp’s chart with the results.
The companies that performed the best in the test are Yelp and Google, with Google being the overall winner (by a nose).
You may be skeptical of these results because Yelp was the source of the test and the results. (Yelp offers to give others a look at the raw data; send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org). It’s good that Yelp did this. Hopefully it will motivate others (especially third parties) will undertake similar investigations.
Local business listings data sets are typically riddled with errors. They’re also dynamic, with enhancements, changes and business closures happening all the time. Maintaining an accurate local business listings database of millions of records is one of the most challenging areas of internet content. Few people (even marketers) realize how difficult it truly is.