Last month the Wall Street Journal reported that Yelp reviews were being integrated into Yahoo search results. This morning Yahoo formally announced the partnership:
Now when you use Yahoo Search to look up a local business in the U.S. on your smartphone, tablet, or PC, you’ll see user reviews, business information, and star ratings from Yelp. We’ve also added a new photo viewing experience to show high-quality photos from Yelp, other partners, and the businesses themselves.
The information is equally available from Yahoo Search and Maps. When you click on “read all . . . reviews” or “write a review” (see image below) you’re taken to the Yelp profile or review page for the specific business. Yelp content is integrated in a similar way on Bing search results.
Yelp reviews don’t yet appear to be integrated into Yahoo mobile search results. I’m sure that will come shortly.
At one time Yahoo was the local search leader. Few people remember that Yahoo was the first company (after a modest implementation by Verizon’s Superpages) that offered interactive mapping — before Google. Over time Yahoo gave up on the maps arms race.
Now Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is making some encouraging moves to make Yahoo relevant again in search but especially on mobile devices, which means making an investment in improving local and maps content.
The new integration of Yelp reviews and photos, as well as new enhanced local results generally, give Yahoo a boost and more utility. However the company is still playing catch-up to Google in most respects.
It will have to move beyond these now “must have” features if it hopes to restore or regain momentum in local search.
Postscript: I was corrected by Yahoo that the content is now available on mobile. I was apparently just unable to find it in the couple of quick searches I did on the mobile web this morning.