Google Plus Local Listings are Outranking Yelp

Google Outranking Yelp in the Search Results

As reported by Tech Crunch, a document leaked showing Google ranking themselves higher than Yelp in Local Listings. On top of that, even when the search specifically includes the term “Yelp”, Google is still being shown ahead of the review site. The study talks about searching for a restaurant called Gary Danko, which is a pretty popular restaurant in the San Francisco area. Even when the search term includes “Gary Danko Yelp”, the first result shown is the restaurant’s website with reviews published on Google, with Yelp’s results to follow below. The question many people are asking is; is this really a matter of providing better results for users, or just Google putting themselves first?   Screen-Shot-2014-07-10-at-10.33.10-PM

Photo Credit: Search Engine Journal


Is Google Giving Users the Best Possible Experience?

This doesn’t sit well with Yelp. The study also found that over 20% of traffic goes to the top result for Gary Danko (Google Reviews), when Yelp feels like they should be the ones getting that traffic. Google stands by the results stating, they are just trying to give users the best possible experience by providing the information they need faster and by making it more relevant to the search. Yelp disagrees and says Google is intentionally going against user intent to benefit themselves. This complaint also comes at a time when the EU antitrust settlement proposal is in the works and many are against it. The settlement essentially lets Google off the hook and free from facing any fines for hindering competitor search results.