Into 2010 Yelp.com reviewer information routinely appeared in Google Places local business listings. In addition to its own users’ star ratings, Google “scraped” ratings from Yelp users and used them as add-ons to its own review offering. But in 2010 Yelp accused Google of using the rating information without a proper license, complaining to the U.S. government that Google had not properly licensed the rating content since way back in 2007. Soon after the well publicized fight, Yelp content was completely removed from Google’s local search returns. Over the last year or two, some wondered if Yelp could continue to be as relevant a review site without the giant boost in traffic provided to it through Google search.
But over the last few weeks new life was breathed into Yelp as Apple Maps announced that Yelp will be THE local search data provider for Apple’s new iOS 6 operating system, providing timely local search displays for Apple’s new series of iPhones. Though Apple Maps has already been using data provided to it via Yelp, Yelp has never received the search return branding from Apple that should now put it toe to toe with Google as the top local search data provider.
Before the Google v. Yelp battle, Law Father routinely advised attorneys to have their clients review them on both Google and Yelp. This was because the Yelp reviews added a nice second row of stars which helped the Google Places search return standout more than a competitor listing with no stars. But over the last few years, monitoring and updating Yelp profiles has taken a back seat to more pressing SEO concerns, such as revving up Google plus profiles. For a lot of SEOs Yelp profiles moved down the priority list of things to do during a new client set-up.
The take-a-way from this week’s news is that it is time to revisit and update your Yelp profile. If you don’t have a Yelp.com profile yet, you can create one here. Apple is moving fast to take up space traditionally held by Google local search. We would all be wise to monitor and adjust our SEO strategies to take a long-term view of Apple’s efforts.
If you are an attorney or law firm interested in generating more clients from the internet, reach out to Law Father today. Let us show you how our proven law firm SEO strategies are bringing more cases to our partner law firms. We will provide you a FREE website evaluation over the phone at 800.325.7715.