November 21, 2014

Why Your Yahoo Local Reviews Are Disappearing

yahoo local reviews disappeared

Let’s say you’ve amassed years worth of mostly positive reviews on your Yahoo Local listing. Then, all of a sudden, your Yahoo Local reviews disappeared and they aren’t showing – but Yelp reviews are showing instead.

This is exactly what happened to Dan Tringale, owner of Colonial Hardwood Flooring of Lexington, Mass. Tringale says his company had amassed six years of mostly positive reviews on Yahoo Local. But when a new deal between Yahoo and Yelp went into effect, all that changed.

A few weeks ago, Tringale estimates about 50 of his reviews on Yahoo Local disappeared in search as Yahoo started displaying Yelp reviews instead. Tringale tells the Wall Street Journal:

“It’s a slap in the face that they took all those reviews down overnight…It’s not easy to get 50 great reviews.”

If you were this business, you wouldn’t be happy. Yahoo says it’s in the interest of users. A spokeswoman told the Wall Street Journal:

“We partnered with Yelp, one of the most trusted, relevant sources of consumer business reviews, to provide a richer search experience for Yahoo users. . . That’s why when Yelp’s reviews are available for U.S. businesses, they will replace Yahoo Local reviews.”

But is this really in the interest of users of the site, if six years of good reviews are hidden from view just because of a deal Yahoo made with Yelp?

If you’re focused on getting online customer feedback, be sure to direct satisfied customers to Yelp, rather than other online feedback like Yahoo Local listings, for example.

In the first place, Yelp reviews are now featured prominently on major search engines including Google and Bing.

In the second, small businesses are discovering that, since the deal giving Yelp reviews a more prominent place in Yahoo search, Yelp reviews trump Yahoo’s own.

8 Comments ▼

Shawn Hessinger - Editor


Shawn Hessinger Shawn Hessinger is the Editor for Small Business Trends. He is a journalist and social media networker with more than a decade of experience in the traditional newspaper business before moving to the digital world. He was the former community manager of BizSugar and the former community editor at AllAnalytics, a site dedicated to professionals in the business intelligence and analytics community.

8 Reactions

  1. That is disappointing. There are reviews that people (including me) wrote on Yahoo before Yelp even existed and continued to do so when it did. This helped businesses who had positive reviews show long-term consistency. To me, it seems like they implemented this without doing any business analysis.

  2. Hi Shevonne,
    Thanks for your comment. Of course, Yahoo’s argument is that the Yelp results ultimately create a better experience for users. But this seems to us pretty subjective. If customers have been leaving feedback for years, what difference does it make what platform they used? And wouldn’t it be a better experience to provide more information, instead of less? If Yahoo’s plan is to replace its own homegrown local listings with a new platform, wouldn’t it make more sense to import all the older data and add it to the new instead of just getting rid of the older data all together? In the end, this seems like a simple executive decision based on what was most expedient after Yahoo formalized its new relationship with Yelp. But, it may not be the best business decision if it causes business owners and consumers alike to flee Yahoo for a site with a more consistent way of handling review data for businesses trying to develop a long-term reputation online.

  3. Sounds to me like a deal that allows Yahoo to quit supporting their own review platform by effectively outsourcing that functionality to Yelp. The natural question then becomes “What happens if Yelp goes out of business or the partnership disintegrates?”

  4. I had all my reviews, about 30 five star and 2 four star reviews, vanish from google after I listened to their sales pitch about why PPC would be good for my business. This was a thing they did over the phone where you shared a screen via something similar to TeamViewer. After a bit over an hour long presentation I said I was only interested in organic listings. A week later all my reviews vanished. Now I do screen captures. And I avoid companies that want to contact me about advertising with them. Whether it be Angie’s List or Yelp. Keep in mind Yelp was caught black mailing businesses a few years back. None of these companies, Yahoo included, should be trusted with your reviews…

  5. Yelp ruins peoples livelyhood

    Yelp ruins peoples reputation

    And you people support this company?

    Maybe one day if you have your own buisness and Yelp is unfair to you, then you’ll understand?

    YelpIsEvil.BlogSpot.Com

  6. I have found in dealing with my local clients that having a broad reviews approach seems to be a better strategy than trying to get all their reviews in one place like Yelp or Google+ for example. Having your reviews spread out amongst several sources offers a little more security in that they can’t all come down or be filtered at once.

    I’ve also found many clients voice frustration when they know a review has been left for them (yelp is guilty of this) but then the review get’s filtered for whatever reason. As a small business owner it’s really tough to get the reviews without asking people for them and if it’s something your customer has to signup for…. Good Luck, they just don’t do it, even after exceptional service reviews are hard-earned.

  7. Yet one more head-scratching decision made by Yahoo. If they wanted to outsource their review platform to Yelp, why scrap all of the data in your own system? As a small business that chooses not to do business with Yelp because of their horrible reputation for being untrustworthy and difficult to work with, and for our own experiences with their irritating filtered reviews, we’ll have to encourage our customers to post feedback to other review sites and search engines now. Necessary evil or not, Yelp is not a platform we feel comfortable using and we discourage people from using it as a “trusted source”.

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