Reports have been circulating for a few weeks now surrounding the impending Yelp-Yahoo Local partnership, and today marks the official announcement from Yahoo. The new Yahoo Local enhances the current user’s experience on search, but what does it mean for you and your dealership?
Millions of new reviews
Nearly all of Yahoo search results and local search page listings will now integrate Yelp’s 53 million+ reviews. For the consumer, this is a great enhancement to their experience—it allows them to get the local information they are looking for as well as being able to tap into the robust community of local reviewers. The biggest question surrounding all of this for businesses, however, is how it will affect their reviews on two of the leading consumer review sites and the best way to manage those reviews in light of this update.
And that’s the one thing that Yahoo or Yelp have not provided a clear answer to: you can still respond to reviews as you always have on Yelp, but those responses won’t show up on the live listing for Yahoo Local. In order for a customer to view the entirety of the review from Yelp, they are going to be directed to the live Yelp listing, further increasing the importance of managing your Yelp listings. Your Yelp rating will also transfer with the review content, so we recommend taking a look at your new Yahoo listing and rating. Search and review listings are a critical part of your online presence and often a consumer’s first perception of your dealership, and this merge only highlights its importance.
Integration of user-uploaded photos
Photos from the Yelp listing will also be integrated on the Yahoo Local listing—make sure to double check you listing to make sure any user-uploaded images aren’t tarnishing your business’ good name. Also, if there aren’t any images on Yelp or Yahoo Local, these can be a great opportunity to draw in new customers by showing off a newly updated showroom or particularly welcoming service waiting area.
A new way to manage business information?
Another area that needs clarification as this merge develops is the use of business information and which listing will serve as the “single source of truth,” Yelp or Yahoo’s–a question which remains unanswered in this press release from Yelp. Consistency is key for optimal search placement and user-friendly findability on the web, so make sure that your newly merged Yahoo Local listing has correct and consistent information as compared to your website and other review listings.
Managing both listings from Yelp directly can’t be far off, but that information hasn’t been released from Yelp or Yahoo.* However, we’ll be following this news closely to make sure our reputation management processes are getting the most value for our clients. If you have specific questions about how this affects your business, contact your 3 Birds account manager or reach out to us today.
Digital-savvy dealerships have recognized the importance of Yelp reviews and Yahoo Local listings (along with other consumer review sites) for years now, but the integration of these two listings could shake up existing social media strategy. Yahoo Local pages will now integrate Yelp reviews and user-uploaded photos—good news for users, and potentially eases review management at the page level .
Since our original coverage of the merger, much of the talk surrounding this merger has involved small business owvers’ discovery of Yahoo Local reviews, many of them positive, disappearing to be replaced by Yelp reviews. Just another reason we recommend that our clients not all put their virtual reviews into one review site basket but instead evenly distribute them across the leading major review sites consumers care about most in order to have a balanced and positive presence online.
Austin Myrick is Digital CX Manager at 3 Birds. Contact him at 919.913.2748.