The Wall Street Journal reports many business owners are upset after years of positive reviews have vanished from Yahoo Local following their recent deal with Yelp.
The deal meant that Yelp’s business listings, including consumer reviews and photos, would be displayed whenever users search Yahoo for local services. Apparently the deal also meant old Yahoo Local reviews, which business owners struggled for years to get, would slowly be replaced entirely with Yelp reviews. The Wall Street Journal documents many business owners feeling “helpless” as a result of this change.
Since mid-March, when a new review about a business is posted on Yelp it replaces an old review posted on Yahoo Local. The Yahoo Local reviews will stay until a new Yelp review is posted, which means as more Yelp reviews come in the old Yahoo reviews will continue to get pushed out. The listing changes apply for desktop, smartphone and tablet users, as well as for search results on Yahoo Maps.
In response to Yahoo reviews being replaced with Yelp reviews, a Yahoo spokeswoman said:
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.
Aside from losing old Yahoo reviews, some business owners are reportedly concerned about the number of anonymous reviews posted on Yelp, another issue that has had Yelp in the hot seat recently. While Yelp and Yahoo both require users to create profiles with verified email addresses before submitting reviews, the reviewers aren’t required to use their real names.
Let this news be a word of caution to business owners who have amassed a number of Yahoo Local reviews, they will more than likely disappear over time. Some business owners suggest saving positive reviews in the form of screenshots, so even if they disappear from the web you will still have them. After you have saved them you can then publish on your website or do with as you wish.
Do you agree with Yahoo’s decision to replace their reviews with Yelp’s reviews? Let me know what you think in the comments section.