Google To Yelp: Give Us Your Reviews Or We Won't Rank Your Pages

Mar 2, 2011 • 8:45 am | comments (16) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Local Search Engine Tips & Optimization

click for full sizeThe Telegraph reports Google has given Yelp an ultimatum, either give us your reviews or we will stop listing you in our search engine.

Yelp's CEO said:

We are unhappy with the way Google uses our users' review on its Places page. However, there is no solution to the problem... Google's position is that we can take ourselves out of its search index if we don’t want them to use our reviews on Places... But that is not an option for us, and other sites like us - such as TripAdvisor – as we get a large volume of our traffic via Google search... We just don't get any value out of our reviews appearing on Google places and haven't been given an option other than to remove ourselves from search, how to improve this situation.

This is nothing new, Yelp and Google have been arguing about this for a long time. There were also rumors that Google would buy Yelp, but clearly, that never happened. Yelp also had some controversy around their review process, ultimately leading to revamping those policies.

In any event, Google told the Telegraph:

We can't comment on conversations with partners, but as we've said before, our goal with local search is to help Google users find the local information they're looking for online. Each day we send millions of customer referrals to local businesses and third party websites, such as review sites, through local search. The overwhelming feedback we get from users, business owners and website owners is that they value the answers and traffic they receive from local search.

As you can imagine, SEOs and Webmasters can relate.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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03/02/2011 02:28 pm

Yelp definitely gains brand recognition and value from their reviews being displayed. I personally often click through to read full reviews. If they really want Google to not be able to display them, there a ton of options to make the rating system invisible to crawlers


03/03/2011 02:46 am

Without google they would be nowhere to begin with, they have the audacity to complain?


03/03/2011 03:02 am

Yelp having thier own brand , and become one of most truested website for reviews .they really do'nt need to depend on Google


03/03/2011 03:05 am



03/03/2011 06:12 am

Yelp Can't force users to make reviews .This is not a great move from google and its not highly appreciated

Jason Braud

03/24/2011 08:29 pm

Yeah this post has got be thinking differently about both these two. Local businesses rely heavily on reviews and I'm not sure which side I should lean on now. Thanks for the post!


04/01/2011 01:08 pm

This is a pretty clearcut case of an abuse of market dominance in one product to bolster another. Just like Microsoft using Windows packaged with their browsers to dominate the browser market. This was judged anti-competitive by Microsoft. Places is a very inferior version of Yelp unless it co-opts the value of Yelp's reviews. Right now it is trying to use the fact that Yelp cannot afford not to be listed on Google (because it is the market dominant internet search engine) to effectively steal Yelp's hard earned Intellectual property for a service that is directly competitive to Yelp's. That is ethically wrong and legally indefensible. Good luck in court Google!

kfir azran

05/30/2011 07:13 pm

still don't get how exactly yelp are expecting their reviews to be displayed . if we could know more info about what they want exactly it would be interesting.  i understand that Yelp wants their reviews to be prominent but at the end of the day Google is still the boss ;-)


08/29/2011 08:26 pm

if yelp agreed to this, they would have to expose their shady review practice that everyone complains about all over the net. anything from businesses having their good reviews removed because they declined to sign up for also shady advertising program. to other funny stuff yelp is doing. people at Yelp are in the game to make a profit. thats all they care about and they use this vehicle to do it in any manner they can. this is flawed scarcity based mindset. because yelp couldn't care less if businesses or yelp users get the best experience possible. And Google does.


02/19/2012 02:59 pm

Now google places reviews should be a strong competitor for yelp. Yelp needs to think of a better income model - maybe adwords Http://

Pest Control Houston

03/22/2012 04:55 pm

Actually, google places reviews are all full of spam. They need to learn how to moderate/filter reviews like yelp


04/05/2012 04:55 am

Yelp is a mafia type organization. They need to go out of business. This is a sick model of making money.


04/05/2012 04:58 am

You are a sick person. If you do not join yelp and pay them $350 a month then all your good reviews are going to be filltered you moron. Do you work for them mafia.

Hype Tactics

07/04/2012 02:11 am

I like yelp, it is a good tool it just needs to be refined.


07/25/2012 09:49 am

Its really silly for the Yelp making arguments like like this. Google is not using its users reviews to display them Infact it is only because of the search results of Google, Yelp gain a huge amount of traffic and overwhelming response from their users.

Alex Milman

07/30/2012 10:16 am

HERE IS A WAY TO FIGHT BACK YELP !!! Yelp is a website that claims to offer people a fair reviews of buisness, when in fact, they mislead people by only showing negative reviews, while 'filtering' all good reviews, UNLESS, that bussiness pays them money, then the show good reviews and 'filter' bad ones.That is very unfair to the publicTo fight back against this injustice, everyone should file a complaint against Yelp at the Better Business Bureau, if enough people file, something can be done!!!

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