Home Forums Local Listings (Citations) Yelp Yelp Part 6 – Can a Yelp Review Allow a Listing to Break into a One Box?

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    Mike Blumenthal

    My previous Yelp review experiments and successes at creating a one box where none existed, lead to another question that was related: Can a Google listing “break into” a Local One Box that is created by a brand match?

    As you recall in the previous Yelp tests, getting 3 reviews at Yelp with the content “dive bar Olean” created a high ranking Yelp page for 3rd Base Bar & Grill and it led to a One Box showing in the search results for our chosen bar (3rd Base Bar and Grill).

    You may also recall that 3rd Base had a very lame website, limited web presence and poor categorization at Google and Yelp. At Yelp their categories are Sports Bars, American (Traditional), Burgers and at Google; Restaurant.

    Nowhere did it mention that 3rd Base was a “dive bar”. So the correlation between high ranking business listing Yelp pages and a Local One Box for that business appear to have a causal relationship.

    To test the hypotheses that “a Google listing can “break into” a Local One Box that is created by a brand match One Box with relevant Yelp review content” we:

    -Identified a phrase “Sports Bars Olean, NY” & “Sports Bars Olean” that consistently generated a Local One Box search result for The Dugout Sports Bar

    Date: 4/10

    Date: 4/11

    – Date 4/11 we asked 1 reviewer to leave a new review at Yelp for 3rd Base with the phrase “Sports Bars Olean” for 3rd Base Yelp Listing
    – 4/14 A ranking Yelp listing for 3rd Base showed up in the Google search results but it didn’t include the new reviews. We started to see the One Box occasionally becoming a 3 Pack
    – 4/15 we added a new review that included the phrase “sports bars in Olean, NY”
    – 4/16 we had 2 other reviewers add the phrase “Sports Bars Olean” & “Sports Bars Olean, NY” to existing reviews.
    – we then tracked results
    – 4/14 – 4/27 the results would occasionly switch back and forth between the One Box and an occasional 3 Pak with “3rd Base” showing at position #2 in the 3 Pack. The Yelp page would come and go in the search results being more visible in mobile than the desktop.
    See this 4/21 screen shot where the new reviews had not yet been picked up in the results:

    – By 4/27 Google picked up and showed in the index the two reviews from 4/11 and 4/15 included the phrase “sports bars in Olean, NY” & “sports bars in Olean”

    – By 4/28 the search results consistently and regularly now return the 3 pack on both mobile and desktop with 3rd Base consistently placing at the #2 position. Although the high ranking Yelp page for 3rd base is still coming and going.

    screen shot 4/28. Note absence of Yelp page for 3rd Base

    It is both possible and doable to break into an existing Local One Box result. 3rd Base had been showing in the number 2 spot in Google Maps but NOT in the main results until such times as we increased its relevancy with keyword laden reviews.

    Some observations
    – Getting to the front page of Google seems to require enough relevancy.
    – It would seem that a listing is either relevant to a given search or not but given that “3rd Base” was showing #2 in Maps but not at all in the Local Pack until we added targeted review content that Google has some sort of “confidence level”

    – It is possible that simply adding the category “Sports Bar” to the “3rd Base” listing would have been enough to break the Local One Box. Maybe not

    – It would seem that Google has a hierarchy of “relevance” values that influence whether a listing is relevant enough to show in the search results
    —-Business name match
    —-Consistent Categorization around the web including Google
    —-Review content in the absence of either of the above

    -The Dugout Sports Bar had a high ranking YP.com listing page as well as a name match that appeared to be creating and driving their one box. So it’s likely not just Yelp…

    -Yelp’s m.yelp site seems to get included in the moible index more quickly than the yelp.com does in the desktop index/

    The previous research in this series are available at:
    – 1 Yelp, Reviews & Rank for a Business
    – 2 Yelp Test Part 2- Holy Crap Batman!
    – 3 Yelp Test Part 3 – Victory is Ours: A One Box
    – 4 Yelp Test Part 4- A Few Interesting Follow Up Tidbits
    – 5 Yelp Test Part 5- Getting Reviews to Stick (Or not)

    David Mihm

    Super-interesting — clear that review text and regular placement on an authority review platform can move rankings both organically and in packs…

    Darren Shaw

    Amazing. I’d love to see this repeated with “lesser” sites like yellowpages.com, citysearch, or facebook.

    Taking a darker look at this, many review sites allow anonymous reviews and don’t filter reviews. You can hire people on fiverr to leave these reviews. If you add keyword rich reviews across a number of these sites, can you break into the pack? Let’s hope not, or this will become incredibly gameable.

    Mike Blumenthal

    I would like to see if we can make a “real estate” pack to show up.

    David Mihm

    Perhaps a certain realtor in Tri-Cities, WA, would be open to the trial?

    If not, I have a really good friend in the Bay Area who specializes in a very small town (Piedmont) that I would love to try to help.

    Mike Blumenthal

    are either of them ranking well in Maps?

    David Mihm

    My guy in the Bay Area is #13.

    Cari is also #13.

    Mike Blumenthal

    I am interested. Lets start with Peidmont and see if we can succeed.

    1- What is a decent medium to long tail keyword set that would be useful to them?

    2- What 3rd party sites’ single location pages are showing high in the ranking?

    3- Do you think that Yelp can make it into the ranking?

    David Mihm

    1) Piedmont homes for sale, piedmont houses for sale would obviously be great. other than that, perhaps “luxury homes” / “luxury houses,” or “single family homes.”

    2) Zillow, Redfin, Trulia, Realtor.com, Homes.com, Movoto.

    3) Probably not. Yelp is 20+ in most rankings in this category and geography.

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