4 MINUTE READ | March 14, 2014
Yelp Partners With Yahoo - What We Think
In another attempt to boost search traffic, Yahoo, the largest search engine that isn’t Google or Bing, has entered into a partnership with local information magnate Yelp that will allow snippets from some of Yelp’s more than 53 million reviews to be featured in Yahoo’s search engine results. With local searches representing approximately 25% of Yahoo’s search traffic, it’s an interesting partnership that has some potential; however, our local team feels the execution may be a hit or miss.
Ha. “We’re not so sure what is so special about this deal, considering it is 2014” – Jason Clampet from SKIFT.com
Yahoo! Search + Yelp (e.g. Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, Fort Worth)
Google Knowledge (Local) Graph Search
What we like:
Copy Cat. There is resemblance to Google’s local knowledge graph (see image) and the layout seems clean, somewhat functional and image focused. Good job Y!.
Lead with images. The listings masthead includes 3 images atop map content vs. Google’s typical setup which includes a lead image + Google maps. Don’t get us wrong, we want maps however product imagery such as food is also useful for “date night” decision making.
Thank you for putting focus on the menu. Menu is delivered in a Y! places page form which allows the consumer to print, send directions or review the menu. Google takes you to the website where many times the menu is in PDF form.
The Yelp name isn’t bad for the Y! brand, however is Y! bad for the Yelp name?
What we don’t like:
Maps. Does anyone use Y! maps? You still use MapQuest don’t you?
Local Algorithm. The Y! + Yelp algo match still needs a lot of work. When we searched for “Del Frisco’s Fort Worth”, we received the restuarant results without the new Yelp integration which weren’t enticing. In order to get the relevant Yelp results, we had to search for the near or exact name of the restaurant + city which is “Del Frisco’s Steakhouse, Fort Worth or Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, Fort Worth”.
# of reviews and review source. Yahoo! only provides reviews on Yelp vs. Google which allows consumers the ability to review other review sites (172 reviews in Y! vs. 297 in Google)
Limited graph search functionality. Engines like Google and Facebook provide “people also searched for” content below listings which supports directional search. Y! does not currently have this functionality within the Yelp listing.
Lack of a true review button – In order to make this a truly consumable and content oriented product, Y! needs to cut the “write a review” link and add a usable button.
General SERP. Google regular search results have reviews, site links, rating while Y! listings are fragmented and somewhat relevant.
What could we expect for this product in 2014?
We believe this will have minimal effect on usage and minimal traffic growth for Y! proper
Potentially supports hyperlocal search exposure and growth for small chains and franchises
Could we expect Yelp or Y! to allow business owners to further enhance listings through a paid option?
Note: Y! continues to push their “verified Yahoo! listings” at the base of the content module.
We provide this verification management for many brands and work through partners like the Yext Marketing Cloud (http://www.yext.com/cloud/people-are-local) to fully verify and clean-up such listings.
What would be interesting?
RLFSA (Retargeting List For Search Ads). Could Yahoo! bring back something similar to their defunct albeit beloved SSP product to target user behavior? It would be interesting if Yelp and Y! allowed custom audience targeting for “logged in” users across both the search and Yelp networks. If a user searched for “steakhouses, Fort Worth”, how could the networks better use this to target mid-to-top of funnel?
Consumer shift is unlikely but still feasible. According to Comscore data, Yelp visitor to Y! index is just around 107 while Yelp to Google indexes around 120. Either way, there is some opportunity for Y! to gain a bit of ground as they are reporting 87% saturation vs. Google’s 96% saturation.
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