Although Yelp was really popular for reviews at one time, people are now relying more heavily on other social media platforms. Facebook offers businesses the opportunity to claim their page, and users can leave reviews even if the page is unclaimed and only a placeholder by Facebook. And you might think that those reviews are not nearly as important as Yelp. But that may no longer be the case.
The relationship between Bing Places and Yelp
In 2012, Bing announced an agreement with Yelp that allowed them to feature Yelp reviews on Bing Places listings. Since Bing is the default search engine on both Microsoft and Amazon Alexa products, that meant Yelp reviews suddenly became important.
But that relationship may be changing. There are indicators that lead us to suspect that Bing is moving away from Yelp. When we search for businesses in the area, it shows Facebook and TripAdvisor reviews in addition to Yelp. Is Microsoft testing new review results in their map pack?
Why are reviews on Bing Places listings important?
Reviews of any kind that are frequently searched are extremely important to small businesses. When you have a lot of local competition, you have to show people why they should choose you. Having good reviews on your local listing accomplishes that very well in an organic way.
Up until now, Bing Places has shown reviews primarily from Yelp. But Microsoft seems to be trying something new, and bringing in reviews from other sources. We have noticed a trend in Bing local searches showing reviews from Facebook and occasionally TripAdvisor. Could others be in the works?
In addition, the top search engine experts seem to be quietly removing mention of Yelp in their articles about Bing Places. Even though they talk a lot about Bing Places and reviews, they only mention Facebook and Tripadvisor. It is as if Yelp is just slowly fading away.
It will be interesting to see how things develop from here, but you can be sure that our SEO experts are staying on top of it. If you want us to put the most up-to-the-minute SEO tools to work for you, contact us for more information.