Jun 212012

Update: Matt McGee just emailed me that he contacted Yelp, and they claimed the link has been added by a user, and they are going to update the listing.

Today I stumbled upon one of the most curious listings I’ve seen in a while. And I am seeing literally hundreds every day.

Here it is:

The link to the Google Maps listing is dead. It leads to this URL:


This is the way a Google Places listing’s URL was appearing previously (before the transition to Google+ Local) when someone looked it up when they clicked on “See your listing on Google Maps” from their Google Places dashboard. With the obvious difference that the actual Source ID is missing in this particular URL. This means that no one can actually have such a link except the verified business owner, or someone that has access to the business database of Google.

As the listing is obviously unclaimed, it is very doubtful it was the business owner who created it. It is also impossible that it was created by a user, because they’d not have such a link. Overall the listings seems to be automatically generated.

Do you think it is possible that Google and Yelp went into some deal in which Google (!!!) provides data to Yelp? Or do you think it is possible that Yelp is now scraping content from Google (payback?), and is simply placing a dead link to Google Maps?

  6 Responses to “Yelp Getting Business Data Feeds from Google?”

Comments (6)
  1. Nyagoslav, was the yelp listing claimed? If so, the owner might have choose that as their website url. Not sure why, but they may have.

  2. Interesting - you don’t see anything GP in Yelp too frequently. I guess anything’s possible except a buddy-buddy collaboration between those two :)

    (Especially given Yelp’s recent partnership with Bing.)

    • Exactly my thoughts :) So that’s why I was so amazed when I saw this… It is like… The Joker becoming friends with Batman (note that I’m not saying who is who in this situation) ;)

  3. Those are extraordinary findings. I haven’t been looking at yelp accounts. I’ve totally missed them.

    From a logic perspective how could yelp, who has had problems with google, who has aligned with Bing and Apple in anti google efforts, and whose content, primarily consisting of reviews want in any way to refer visitors to a url whose significant content are rival reviews.

    It blows my mind.

    I have a hard time buying into the yelp explanation to Matt. Anecdotally I tried to correct urls in Yelp for various businesses a bunch of times. They were all accurate urls. They all got rejected. In all cases I was acting as an outside commentator, not one who had claimed the listing. In a couple of cases I did it multiple times with explanation. yelp never accepted the corrections.

    So a second possibility…..

    Could yelp have originated the urls? that seems crazy. Why would yelp want to redirect users to competititive content??

    Could it have been an internal mistake within Yelp???

    That is possible.

    Here is an out of the blue suggestion. Somebody hacked yelp and generated the data. Maybe it was somebody with a pro google perspective?????

    I just can’t understand it. Am I missing something???

  4. I have noticed that people who sign up for the paid Yelp listing often get their Yelp listings showing up VERY high in search results on page 1 of Google. It is their directory listing on Yelp (yelp.com/their-business). Why do their listings show up higher after they pay?

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