Is Yahoo-Yelp Deal a Boon or Bane for Small Businesses?

Date Published: 8-May-2014 | By: Shane K Morgan

Like Bing partnered with Yelp in 2012, Yahoo too teamed up with Yelp on March 12th 2014. As local searches contribute to around 25% of total search traffic of Yahoo, it’s looking to provide better search experience to searches with local intent. As per the deal, whenever there is a search for local services or businesses on Yahoo search, results will include information from Yelp like consumer reviews, ratings, images, etc. With this partnership, Yahoo is hoping to provide better local businesses to its search users.

However, the intent behind the tie-up is good, there is a mixed opinion on the partnership. It may be a boon to search users, but a bane to some small business owners.

Boon to search users
It is boon to Yahoo search users who are searching for local businesses because they will get the Yelp reviews and ratings – considered to be reliable and trusted.

Bane to business owners
Yahoo-Yelp tie-up has become a bane for many small business owners. The businesses that built great Yahoo local profiles for their business, probably struggling for years to acquire positive reviews from their customers are big losers. Now, with this deal, Yahoo local reviews will slowly get replaced by Yelp reviews.

What business owners can do now?
There is a clear announcement from Yahoo and Yelp that Yelp’s reviews for businesses will replace Yahoo local reviews. So, there is nothing much the business owners can do except protecting their previous positive reviews. Under such situation, they can do the following

  • Keep a record of the Yahoo reviews before they get pushed out by Yelp reviews. You can use Yahoo reviews on your website or quotes, where they can be exposed to your prospects/leads.
  • If possible, approach customers who have given reviews before and explain them the situation and get their review again on Yelp
  • Try to get more positive reviews by customers on Yelp by providing better products/services

For a small business, every positive review given by a customer counts. So, don’t neglect this issue and try to get as many Yelp reviews as possible by your customes with good customer service.