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Google Muscles Yelp over Reviews

   
1:33 am on Mar 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month Best Post Of The Month



Telegraph.co.uk [izurl.com...]

“We are unhappy with the way Google uses our users’ review on its Places page. However, there is no solution to the problem… Google’s position is that we can take ourselves out of its search index if we don’t want them to use our reviews on Places…. But that is not an option for us, and other sites like us – such as TripAdvisor – as we get a large volume of our traffic via Google search...We just don’t get any value out of our reviews appearing on Google places and haven’t been given an option other than to remove ourselves from search, how to improve this situation.
1:39 am on Mar 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

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...And some are unhappy with the way Google uses their data to provide new titles to their pages on its Serps page...
2:27 am on Mar 2, 2011 (gmt 0)



Anti-trust where are you?
3:31 am on Mar 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

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This is a growing concern for many businesses. But it is unlikely to change without some legal action.

Otherwise, statements like this:
But that is not an option for us, and other sites like us – such as TripAdvisor – as we get a large volume of our traffic via Google search.
will remain true.
3:53 am on Mar 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Google controls the traffic to the sites that linking to the sites that linking to the sites that linking to the sites that are linking to U. Anti-trust was not here, it's a black Box, u know, the one that "authorities" fail to find after the crash......
4:56 am on Mar 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Anti-trust where are you?

goog is busy keeping pockets in DC lined, and their people on the inside.
5:00 am on Mar 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

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*Cough* scraping *cough*
5:50 am on Mar 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



I, personally, would not mind if yelp goes away.
5:57 am on Mar 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Another example of Google not using content for ranking purposes and instead profiting from it. They really should need permission to do ANYTHING with content beyond, you know, ranking it.

I don't suspect this will end as long as Google is on Wall st. Did "places" leave a bad taste in webmasters mouths or what?
6:26 am on Mar 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

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And some are unhappy with the way Google uses their data...

*Cough* scraping *cough*

Yep ~ Google very publicly goes after scraper sites, then turns around and scrapes. Did somebody say "hypocrisy"?

Google’s position is that we can take ourselves out of its search index if we don’t want them to use our reviews on Places

Or did somebody say "Bully"?

......................
8:16 am on Mar 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



We just don’t get any value out of our reviews appearing on Google places...


How about staying top of mind?

How about new users discovering Yelp?

What about the direct link from the Places page to the Yelp page?

It's not like Google is taking and not giving something back. Yelp is getting something back. It's not as good as a direct link from the SERPs but they're not entitled to a direct link in the first place.
2:18 pm on Mar 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

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It's not like Google is taking and not giving something back. Yelp is getting something back. It's not as good as a direct link from the SERPs but they're not entitled to a direct link in the first place.


Thats not the point - Google are scraping content and using it on their own web pages. Yelp dont like that and Google are saying TS!
2:29 pm on Mar 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

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So this basically boils down to, let us scrape your content and profit from it or choose to be invisible to the biggest search engine on the planet?

It really seems G- thinks they have pseudo-ownership of anything they spider.
3:05 pm on Mar 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I'm guessing that if Google removed Yelp reviews and the links back to Yelp and replaced them with a lesser competitor - we would see Yelp shouting to be returned to prominence.
As usual - follow the money. Yelp probably feels they deserve some financial reward for their content being used. While Google wants to trade mindshare.
3:10 pm on Mar 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Very interesting. Still, this is an old story. Replace "Google Places" with "Google News" and replace Yelp with any major newspaper. Yelp and their buddies have less clout than the news providers. (Yelp is a good idea executed poorly. It's a good example of a deep-pocketed mediocre firm driving out better players. Of course, some say that the case with Google as well; I not certain that's the case. Yet.)
3:15 pm on Mar 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



While Google wants to trade mindshare.

That's what I used instead of cash to pay my mortgage this month!
3:43 pm on Mar 2, 2011 (gmt 0)



Wouldn't mind if Yelp went away either.

>> At the end of 2009, Google was understood to be in talks with Yelp’s management to acquire it for $500 million

Ah there it is. Boo hoo, I don't feel bad for them. They use GOOG's services to get to where they are and now they want a special deal.

[edited by: Panthro at 4:05 pm (utc) on Mar 2, 2011]

3:54 pm on Mar 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Hard to feel sorry for Yelp after their heavy handed tactics, cold-calling businesses and removing bad reviews for paying customers but leaving them front and center if not...can you say shakedown?

Still, Google as content scraper. Not where we imagined them a few years ago. We don't want them competing with us. Just show SERPs...make money from ads and leave the rest alone.
4:12 pm on Mar 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Wouldn't mind if Yelp went away either.

I'm certainly not defending Yelp or the quality of its service (I do not use them). I am saying that when Google owns the game and sets the rules, it would be nice to see them actually live by their own rules (ie, don't scrape content without permission); and secondly, when the offended company raises an objection it seems appropriate to respond with a little respect, not with a veiled threat (that company's own behavior in unrelated cases is not the issue). So again, it comes across as Google telling the webmaster community "do as we say, not as we do", which they then follow up with, "and if you don't like it, tough s**t".

...................
4:13 pm on Mar 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

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i had a good look at the place pages the other day and was amazed at how little content they actually contain.

if you search for a world famous location which has its own website, eg the Eiffel Tower, or Buckingham Palace, then the top position is no longer given to the official site. it has been taken over by a big blue link to the google map page -- which looks indentical to the links in the serps.

the map page doesnt really contain anything. just the map, address, a few thumbnails and a link which opens up a bubble on the map.
if you click on the bubble then you go to a 2nd version of the same page which contains a smaller version of the map, a few thumbnails... and more ads.

its pretty much the exact same content in a different layout.

but you can keep going... if you click on the thumbnails then you see a 3rd version of the same page -- the same map and address, except this time the image appears in the bubble.

if you click on the little 'explore this area' link then you go to a 4th version of the same page with the same map, address and thumbnails.

its all the same. it is just a big roundabout of pages with the same content in different layouts, with ads.

this is automated content. its this kind of material that google are trying to remove from the serps.
4:14 pm on Mar 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



We don't want them competing with us. Just show SERPs...make money from ads and leave the rest alone.

Y'know, I don't understand why Google doesn't leave it at exactly that. Are the serps better than they were 3-5 years ago? Doubtful. Are they making more money than they were 3-5 years ago as a result of these ongoing changes? Doubtful.

If they'd had stuck to their knitting, they'd have just as much money, maybe more - and they wouldn't have half the webmaster community po'ed at them. I remember when Google was the good guy.
5:08 pm on Mar 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



The real problem here is that Google's not using the data for a listing, they're using it as a feed. Nobody here would expect to provide a raw data feed to someone else without being compensated. Yelp should be compensated as well.

But about all yelp can do is screw around with the feed maybe, change how they serve it to Google so it screws up their pages. Or puts a crawl delay in so that Google's data is out of date. Or maybe just remove non-money pages from the serps, giving Google an incomplete data set.
6:05 pm on Mar 2, 2011 (gmt 0)





How about staying top of mind?

How about new users discovering Yelp?

What about the direct link from the Places page to the Yelp page?

It's not like Google is taking and not giving something back. Yelp is getting something back. It's not as good as a direct link from the SERPs but they're not entitled to a direct link in the first place.


Well, apparently Yelp doesn't think that that's enough. Who are you to judge for them? Should Google 'steal' their content under the threat of delisting when they control 65-70% of search market share? ?
6:08 pm on Mar 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



So again, it comes across as Google telling the webmaster community "do as we say, not as we do", which they then follow up with, "and if you don't like it, tough s**t".


With all due respect (and believe me, I DO respect your opinion on this), that is exactly what google SHOULD be saying. If I were a shareholder in google (which I am not), I would be mighty upset if google DIDN'T have this attitude.

The whole reason for google to exist as a business is to make money. That's it. End of story. that's the whole reason for ANY business to exist.

Nobody HAS to play by google's rules if they don't want to.

Think of it in brick and mortar terms: If you own a store, you don't HAVE to locate it in the Mega-Bucks Shopping Mall. You will have less rules an regulations, and you won't feel so exploited by it if you locate your store down on Hobo Street instead...

It's just that you are going to be getting a LOT more customers if you were to set up shop in Mega-Bucks Shopping Mall your sales will be higher because of the number of people coming through the mall.

So the choice is yours.
6:10 pm on Mar 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



Should Google 'steal' their content under the threat of delisting when they control 65-70% of search market share? ?


Yes, they should steal their content.

People are free to jump ship from google when a better search engine comes along, much the way that people jumped ship from yahoo search when google came along.
8:00 pm on Mar 2, 2011 (gmt 0)





Yes, they should steal their content.

People are free to jump ship from google when a better search engine comes along, much the way that people jumped ship from yahoo search when google came along.


Microsoft tried that. Google is next
9:03 pm on Mar 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

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The sooner everyone jumps ship from Google the better - Places is just a webmaster killer in my opinion, another way to keep people on Google site where they make money from paid links and paid Places links
3:07 am on Mar 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



Google is next


They might be. However, unlike Microsoft, google has this annoying habit of actually providing what their customers want.
3:38 am on Mar 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Yes, they should steal their content.

I have to admit Planet13, that makes no sense to me. Are you also saying that people should steal your content? If that's a good thing to you, then at least you're consistent; if not, then you're extending to "Do No Evil Google" the very low standard (they can steal whatever they want) that you would not extend to your own content. Presumably you see the irony in that position.

.......................
4:06 am on Mar 3, 2011 (gmt 0)



They might be. However, unlike Microsoft, google has this annoying habit of actually providing what their customers want.


Windows was on 90% of the world's computers at one point. I guess customers wanted Microsoft too.
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