Home Forums Yelp Test Part 1 Yelp, Reviews & Rank for a Business

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    Mike Blumenthal
    Keymaster

    At the end of February I started exploring in more detail Google Local One Boxes that were NOT brand related but rather one boxes that were appearing on key phrases.

    One of the things that I have noticed in the past and seemed related to the Local One Box is that
    1- When there is review activity on a business at Yelp, that business listing moves up in the ranks on Google
    2- that words in the Yelp review were driving the relevance i.e. if words appeared in those reviews they would lead to the Yelp listing showing high in Google search for that search.

    I wanted to test this to see if it was as I had assumed and how quickly this Yelp ranking affect might occur.

    I picked a search phrase that wasn’t showing any local packs: Dive Bars Olean NY

    And I picked a bar in Olean that didn’t have much for a website and obviously had not claimed any listings and that my kids said was a great dive bar; decent food, a neighborhood crowd, darts, pool tables, waitresses that called you “hon” and wall hangings that hadn’t changed in 20 years…Their Yelp listing did NOT have Dive bar as a category: 3rd Base Bar and Grill.

    I asked several forum members that had decent Yelp cred to leave them a review. On March 12th, Andrew, Ed & Mary left them a review including the word “dive bar”. On the 17th and today 2 more reviews were added. They had 3 reviews prior to this experiment.

    On March 12th the Yelp Listing for 3rd Base did not show in the first 100 searches for Dive Bars Olean, NY.

    On or about the 18th they moved to the top of the list within Yelp when one searched for Dive Bars Olean, NY on Yelp. However there was an odd discrepancy whereby the mobile URL would surface on Google this search result would take you to the above list but the desktop search result would not and it would take you to a category search that didn’t and still doesn’t show 3rd Base.

    On the morning of March 21st the Yelp Listing of for 3rd Base Bar and Grill has shown up in position 3 in Google for Dive Bar Olean. Google had scraped the listing before the 7 review was added on 3/17th.

    3/12-3/18 Original Desktop Search
    Google Search on March 18th

    3/21 Search

    Notes:
    Clearly, review activity at Yelp causes Yelp to send page rank and visibility to a listing.

    Google obviously scrapes this content quickly and indexes it quickly and ranks it quickly.

    This provides an obvious long tail, barnacle tactic that might be executed.

    Things I am still testing:
    Will several more reviews push the rank above 3?

    Will a review from a reviewer with only 1 review but who has checked in “stick”?

    Will this authoritative result ultimately, by itself, be able to drive a Local One Box?

    Questions I have for others:
    What mechanism does Yelp use to get these to rank so quickly in Google? Is it just the “pr” added by links from reviewers pages? Is it the link from the search result? Something else?

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