When you’re researching a company for the first time or searching for local businesses, it’s highly likely that you look up customer reviews before making a decision. Online reputation management and business review platforms such as Yelp and Google are vital for any business, as it reveals to prospective clients not only what you do, but how well you do it. But which should you focus on: Google or Yelp? The short answer is both. However, there are several key differences between the services that are important to know as a business owner.
Google reviews are integrated into Google search, and they’re prominently displayed alongside other business information when your company is searched. If a user is searching for businesses via Google, your Google reviews will be displayed higher on the page results than Yelp. However, Google reviews generally get less views than Yelp. One advantage to Google reviews is that they give equal weight to all reviews, so your overall rating on Google will likely be more accurate than on Yelp. With Google, there’s no paid review prioritization and all reviews are factored into the business’s overall rating.
A large number of Google reviews also helps boost your Google search ranking. When looking at more than 200 local ranking factors, 9 of the 10 most influential factors involve Google reviews. Google uses reviews as ranking factors because they offer a direct way of gauging customer satisfaction. With 90% of the search engine market share, having a higher rank on Google search results will have incalculable benefit for your company and its visibility.
Yelp is the number one place users go to search for reviews. 60% of consumers report using the Yelp app to search for local businesses, and Yelp receives hundreds of millions of views each month. Yelp backlinks provide a lot of SEO value for your website, so maintaining a positive rating on Yelp and encouraging people to check out your site is a great way to boost your search rankings and build brand awareness.
One aspect of Yelp’s site that often warrants further explanation is their unrecommended reviews. Yelp’s recommendation software filters reviews based on quality, reliability, and user activity. Reviews which are considered helpful and legitimate are recommended, and those reviews which are unhelpful or untrustworthy are unrecommended. Yelp doesn’t filter reviews based on whether they’re positive or negative; they simply recommend the reviews that are most likely to be helpful and reliable for consumers. Currently, about 75 percent of all reviews are recommended. Unrecommended reviews, such as those judged to be unreliable or written by inactive users, are hidden in a tab at the bottom of the business’s page. Although they are more difficult to find, they are still visible upon clicking on the link. Unrecommended reviews are not factored into the business’s overall rating or review count, whether for the better or the worse.
While they both offer different advantages and disadvantages, neither platform is superior all-around, and it is important to utilize both in order to manage company reputation and stimulate growth successfully. If you need help managing your business’ online reputation and navigating social review platforms, IDG can help. Give us a call today at (714) 221-4377 for more information.