Yelp Reviews No Longer Appear in Google Maps

Last week we discussed which websites feed the most restaurant reviews into Google’s Local Business Center (LBC). While Citysearch impressively captured nearly 47% of the restaurant reviews appearing on Google Maps, it was Yelp’s complete lack of reviews that inspired the most curiosity here at EZlocal. Our crack SEO team has been helping small businesses get found on Google for a few years now, during which time we grew accustomed to seeing Yelp reviews in Google’s LBC. Now, finding a Yelp review in Google Maps is almost unheard of. Why? As near as we can tell, the reviews disappeared from the LBC after acquisition talks between the two companies disintegrated back in December 2009. It is reported that Google offered [More]

Encouraging Customer Reviews: 4 Tips to Get People Talking About Your Small Business

Update 02/01/2013: Google has since updated their review content guidelines to prohibit review stations and giving customers free gifts or discounts for leaving reviews. This article was written prior to the change and may provide information that is no longer relevant or considered a best practice. Small businesses are in a unique position to truly benefit from customer reviews.  Chains are pretty well locked into their branding and there tends to be very little differentiation city-to-city and state-to-state.  They will build reputations for being consistent and predictable, but rarely break through to extraordinary.  However, small businesses are unencumbered by these expectations; small businesses have the opportunity to make a name for themselves as some... [More]

Local Business SEO - Ultimate Guide: Part 1: References/Citations

Everyday local search becomes more integrated into the old fashioned search results.  Google expanded its local search universe again recently and shows no signs of slowing.      The Google Local Business Center is so great because you can dissect a listing and really understand why it is ranked.  Not only does the business owner have the opportunity to provide details, but Google finds other sites that reference a business and includes it in the listing details.  For example, searching custom closets Broadview, IL  [More]