Yelp and Yahoo are reportedly teaming up to incorporate local business listings to the once dominant search engine site.

Yelp listings and reviews should appear on Yahoo within a few short weeks but no real details about the merge have been revealed. All we know is that Yahoo CEO Marissa Myers tried to acquire Yelp for $500 million back in 2009 when she worked for Google.

 

What This Means for Local Businesses 

Yelp reviews will appear on another search engine and mobile site. Small businesses with listings on Yelp will have to make sure that information is accurate and that they’re regularly made aware of any current and new user reviews and ratings made on the site.

This story was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, which mentioned that there’s a growing trend of smartphone users searching for reviews about local businesses through their mobile device. The Verge is speculating that Yelp reviews with star ratings will be appear more prominently on the search engine site.

 

Is the Merge a Big Deal?

Experts are saying that the merge is a big deal for Yelp, but only and OK deal for Yahoo. The merge gives Yelp the opportunity to embed itself in one of the three biggest search engines in the world (Google, Yahoo, and Bing).  For Yahoo, the company is rolling the dice. Yelp is both a business listings and review page site and while listings looking pretty similar across all the three main search engines, Yahoo is looking to differentiate itself rom the pack by offering online reviews too. So instead of seeing, “Joe’s Fried Chicken restaurant is located here,” users will also see “Joe’s Fried Chicken restaurant is located here and it’s great! (5 stars).” Yahoo will have to figure out a way to offer value to the user when searching on Yahoo that enhances the experience. What will be the difference between searching on Yahoo vs. downloading the Yelp app and going on the actual Yelp site? We’ll have to see what’s revealed in the coming months.

In the meantime, business listings and reviews, whether they’re on Yelp, Yahoo, or anywhere else online, here’s steps businesses can take hold of their online reviews:

  • Make sure all company information is correct and consistent on Yelp and other online listings. (Note and make sure all abbreviations in contact info, street address, company name are the same across all boards.)
  • Encourage loyal customers to make positive reviews on Yelp and other review sites to help grow your online reputation
  • Monitor and manage your ratings and reviews regularly using a reputation management dashboard that gives you alerts or notifications
  • Continue to stay active and grow a following on social media sites. Social media helps build presence and credibility on the web. Those making reviews and ranking businesses on online review sites are also the ones present on social media.  Build a relationship with these users to grow your online reputation.

Have you been having trouble with your Yelp reviews lately? Take a look at blog post we wrote on how to resolve your Yelp troubles.

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