How the Yelp Deals with Yahoo! and Yellow Pages May Affect Your SEO

Yahoo Yelp Yellow Pages

As we mentioned in our most recent blog post, the deals Yelp recently made with both Yahoo! and Yellow Pages to merge their review site listings may have an impact on your SEO.

The fact that both Yahoo! and Yellow Pages seem to be placing less emphasis on being regarded as reputable review sites (and instead relying on Yelp’s expertise), means that your presence on a variety of different review sites becomes even more important. We find that being listed on the review sites that are more tailored to the industry you are in may be one of the keys to boosting your SEO. For example, making sure you’re listed on Cars.com if you’re a car dealership or Avvo.com if you’re a lawyer.

See our previous blog post There is New Life in SEO to see how SEO is important to your business!

New Yelp Partnerships: Yellow Pages and Yahoo!

Yelp
About 2 weeks ago, Yelp announced that they would be partnering with Yahoo!. As of a few days ago, Yelp also announced a partnership with Yellow Pages.

What Does This Mean For You?

Yelp reviews are now more pervasive. It also means that other review sites have now grown in importance, such as industry-specific review sites such as Cars.com and Healthgrades.com. The merging of the more all-encompassing review sites indicates that focusing on these particular review sites becomes less of a priority. The merging of Yelp reviews into the Yahoo! and Yellow Pages platforms also indicates a decline in both of these review sites’ prioritization of their own reviews. Much like how Yahoo! sold their search sector to Microsoft was an indication of their move away from search and focusing instead on their other sectors.

As of this writing, duplicate Yelp reviews on Yahoo! and Yellow Pages may hinder your SEO. This implies a need to further diversify unique reviews across many different review sites. Essentially, having Yelp reviews being duplicated across these two additional platforms may devalue their importance; the reviews become redundant and less unique and fresh.

What this means for these two companies is:

•Distribution/exposure to each other’s consumer databases. Yelp will, in effect, indirectly gain access to Yellow Pages’s 4,000-strong sales force. YellowPages

•Yellow Pages will gain the full range of profile features and capabilities associated with Yelp’s “branded profile” (call to action button, slideshows, ROI metrics, etc.)

Essentially, Yelp will pull data from existing Yellow Pages profiles and include all of its existing branding. However, this does not guarantee the removal of competitor ads on profile pages of Yellow Pages advertisers on Yelp.

According to the article “Yelp and YP Enter Into “Strategic” Content, Distribution Partnership” by Greg Sterling at Search Engine Land, “YP has great mobile network reach in particular and is the third largest US mobile ad network by revenues (per eMarketer) after Google and Facebook.”

Yahoo
As for the partnership with Yahoo!, users will now see data from Yelp populating into existing Yahoo! Local profiles accompanied by “Reviews on Yelp” at the top of each page. This is not dissimilar from how Bing currently pulls data from Yelp, due to a partnership launch that occurred in 2012. Bing is the search engine run by Microsoft, who Yahoo! sold their search sector to in 2009. (Source: “Yelp Partners With Bing To Enhance Bing’s Local Search Pages” by Sara Perez at Tech Crunch)

Stay tuned for a follow-up blog post on how this may affect your SEO!

There is New Life in SEO – It’s called REVIEWS

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Just do a web search for “Is SEO Dead” and you will find pages upon pages of articles about the supposed “death” of SEO. So is SEO really dead? Of course not. The rules have just changed. Whether you are new or experienced with SEO (if you’re new to it, see the explanation below, then come back and see what the big fuss is about), you’ll see that it can be hard to keep up with all the trends concerning SEO.

Google Search

Over the last 10 years, search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo have consistently tuned and re-tuned their “algorithm” so that you can easily find what you are looking for. Google, the king of all search engines, sets the standard by which SEO experts “dial-in” their websites so that the Google search engine may find them.

In the days of old, there were many tricks that could be used to increase the effectiveness of SEO. But Google has been playing a cat-and-mouse game with many of these “experts” to the point that the search engine is actually ignoring some websites. So how is SEO still alive? Google search has given great preference to quality content.

Google Maps

Essentially, videos and high quality articles stand out as SEO magnets. When it comes to LOCAL SEO that helps you get your business found, it’s all relative to the extent of your reviews and review site listings that matter. MOZ conducted an outstanding study on local search and concluded that at least 50% of LOCAL search is influenced by LOCAL SEO.

Their study is not for the faint of heart, so we’ll try to boil it down to the following SIX FACTORS:

• Breadth
• Consistency
• Recent
• Sentiment
• Keywords
• Quantity

Let’s explain each one:

Firstly, it’s important to have your business listed on lots of review sites. We call that the BREADTH of your listings. The more places your business is listed, the better. But we suggest that you have listings on at least 10 review sites that matter (such as Google, Yelp, Yahoo, CitySearch, YellowPages, etc.).

Next, it’s important that your listings be CONSISTENT with your business Name, Address and Phone Number (also known as a “NAP”). Since most of the review sites also display your web address, make sure that it’s the correct address as well.

That’s the easy part, the next four are a bit harder but can have a huge impact on your SEO. They are based on getting reviews on those review sites that matter most.

The reviews should be RECENT. The older the reviews, the less weight they will carry with the search engine.

BalanceThe reviews should lean also toward the positive. Negative reviews will rank lower. The reviews don’t have to be perfect, but they should be balanced. In fact, the MOZ study suggests that balanced reviews (rather than perfect “5 stars” or “all negative”) carry more weight from an SEO perspective.

The text of the reviews should mention the name of the business and the services and/or products provided by that business. A restaurant that sells “steak” would benefit if the reviews had the word “steak” in them. (But beware of *keyword stuffing.)

Lastly, each review site should have several reviews on them. One or two reviews on a review site will have little impact on SEO. ReviewInc suggests at least 10 reviews on each review site, with at least one of those in the last 30 days.

Subscribers to ReviewInc’s service can access their SEO Impact analyzer which is updated daily based on a business’s reviews. Here is a sample chart provided by the ReviewInc’s service:

SEO

Whether you are an existing ReviewInc subscriber or want to know more, just call us and we’ll be happy to discuss how we can help.
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Search Engine Optimization

SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It is the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” listings on search engines. Local SEO, is a specialized kind of online marketing that increases visibility for businesses interested in ranking for geographically-related keywords. A large part of Local SEO involves ranking in the Local algorithms, as well as ranking well in the organic results for Local keywords.

Keyword Stuffing

Keyword stuffing is considered to be an unethical search engine optimization (SEO) technique, which leads to banning a website from major search engines either temporarily or permanently. Keyword stuffing occurs when a web page is loaded with keywords in the meta tags or in content of a web page. The repetition of words in meta tags may explain why many search engines no longer use these tags.

via Wikipedia.org.

Related Video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Dewcef19q8

Review Site Series: Alternate Logins

Many review sites offer certain features to business owners and reviewers alike. At ReviewInc, one of our favorites is alternate logins. Alternate logins allow reviewers and business owners to log in to the review site using credentials from a different website such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Yahoo!.

Since many people already have accounts with these popular websites, it makes it very convenient for them to quickly log in and access the full functionality of the review site without having to create an additional account on that review site. Or at the very least, it makes account creation for that website a little more simplified.

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Out of 170 review sites that we monitor, 89 support Facebook logins, 30 support Google logins, 16 support Yahoo! logins, 15 support Twitter logins, 8 support Windows logins and 6 support LinkedIn logins.

We feel this is a very important feature because people are more inclined to leave reviews on a review site when it is hassle-free. Any added steps could deter them from leaving a review altogether.

What are your thoughts? Do you think that alternate logins are a great feature? Let us know in the comments below!