Yelp CEO, Google Argue Over Placement
Jeremy Stoppelman, CEO of local review giant Yelp, claims that Google has given him an ultimatum: Either let the search giant continue including Yelp's excerpted reviews on Google Places pages, or remove Yelp all together from Google's index. "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," Stoppelman tells The Telegraph. "But that is not an option for us ... as we get a large volume of our traffic via Google search." "Poor, poor Yelp," jokes ReadWriteWeb regarding Stoppelman's lament. "What other website would you more expect to want to have its cake and eat it to?"
Indeed, "Where [Stoppelman's] not correct is acting entitled to the millions of referrals his company doesn't pay for," writes eWeek's Google Watch blog. "To wit, Google Places is hurting Yelp's business so terribly that the local review provider is preparing to go public."
Regarding its local search product, Google tells The Telegraph: "The overwhelming feedback we get from users, business owners and website owners is that they value the answers and traffic they receive from local search." Noting Google's attempt to buy Yelp for $500 million last year, Search Engine Land writes: "For the past year or so Yelp and Google have been a little like the two Koreas, not at war but not at peace either."
>Seconds CNet: "Perhaps this apparent acrimony is just leftover hard feelings over Google's failed effort to acquire Yelp last year." Still, "As Google has pushed more aggressively into local and greatly improved its offerings, online and in mobile, tensions with other local and review sites have become heightened," Search Engine Land adds. "They may be starting to bubble over in Yelp's case."