Yelp announced a deal with Microsoft’s Bing this morning. The deal features a deeper integration of Yelp’s content into Bing’s local business profile pages than is otherwise available to Yelp API users.
I’m confident this was a response (by Bing) to Google’s incorporation of Zagat content into its new Google+ Local pages and perhaps to a lesser degree to Apple’s recent local search announcements that partly involve Yelp.
Even though there are lots of local review sources, Yelp has now emerged as the local reviews “brand.” (I’d love for people to argue with me on that). In other words, Yelp is now the dominant brand associated with local reviews — certainly in restaurants if not across the board.
It’s not clear how many people land on Bing’s local pages (I suspect the traffic is relatively small). However the deal is still a relatively high profile one and, together with the Apple local content relationship, will cheer Yelp’s investors.
The integration is rolling out starting today but the pages aren’t live yet. So, here’s a Yelp-provided screenshot I also used in my piece over at SEL (the arrows and commentary are mine):
Questions for you:
- Do the Bing and Apple deals firmly establish Yelp as the clear leader in local reviews (as I believe they do)?
- Will this Bing integration benefit Microsoft in any way or is this merely a way to keep from falling further behind Google and potentially Apple (going forward)?
- Other thoughts?