Let me give you a little perspective. Lets go back to the real reason Yelp has been mad at Google for all these years. It comes down to something very simple: Google has been ripping off Yelp reviews. When people are browsing Google and do a local search, then go into a Places page, (I have been told by Yelp) Yelp sees virtually NO traffic once that visitor is in that Places page (so there is absolutely NO BENEFIT). The browser was seeing everything they needed with Google displaying those Yelp reviews right out in the open. You see? All that hard work of Yelp being ripped off with no benefit of traffic or people going to their site … reading the review is “from Yelp” while on Google is not the same as the user actually going to Yelp and reading the review. If you think of all I am saying as a business owner, it makes sense. This all changes today.
Google spent years piggy backing off the loyal reviewers of Yelp, and now with everything going down with the law suits etc. they might be getting scared, and could be the reason they are finally making the move. My guess is Yelp is pretty happy about this. All those people that are saying Yelp is dead? Here is why you are so wrong and where Yelp benefits: Without Yelp reviews showing up in Places pages anymore, who has the superior product? Yelp. If you are looking for lots of reviews, you are no longer going to see them when using the Google Places app … so you are going to turn to Yelp. Yelp wins this battle and thus has the superior product. For now anyway.
Look at this screen shot I tool of my favorite place to eat where I live. 26 – 62 … that would be a blowout in an NFL game 🙂 Clearly Yelp is winning the battle of reviews:
The real battle? I feel the real battle is going to be in the mobile space. I am not the only one. See Mike Ramsey’s comment here on this awesome thread on Google Plus started by Mike Blumenthal. If Google can do a better job with their mobile app, (as Yelp has done) they might have a change. My guess is they won’t and they will piss their customers off like they usually do. That seems to be their style. It is going to be interesting to see what happens over the next several years in this space, I am actually looking forward to it.
The thing you you might forget is people HAD the opportunity to leave reviews on Google all these years, but didn’t for the most part … they used Yelp. To me, that speaks volumes. For now, I will be keeping my Yelp app on the iPhone and am sticking with it.
Update: Wanted to share some good posts about all these changes that I have recently read:
- https://plus.google.com/106412255733219697839/posts/VaDm6o1LFUx (the discussion on G+ the above post set off)