Local query results and content from neighborhood stores have become the focus of search engines. Yahoo on Wednesday began pulling in Yelp's online reviews of local merchants to improve the information available in its search engine results. The news came a day after Google said it would add customer ratings annotations based on survey data.
When consumers use Yahoo Search to look up a local business in the U.S. on their smartphone, tablet, or PC, they will see user reviews, business information, and star ratings from Yelp. Yahoo has also added a new photo viewing experience to show high-quality photos from Yelp, other partners, and the businesses themselves, per the company's Tumblr post.
The more data integrated into query results that can return a variety of unique information, the greater likelihood that consumers will turn toward Yahoo when they need to search for something. Yahoo relies on Microsoft Bing for query data and paid-search ads, but much of the content and the design of the site belongs to Yahoo. This agreement between Yahoo and Yelp focuses on content.
As content continues to become more important, this puts Yahoo in a better position. Google also believes that recommendations and reviews matter, but the engine lacks a similar stable of content. This week, to compensate, Google began rolling out consumer rating annotations in paid-search ads after the company discovered early in the process that consumer ratings annotations can increase click-through rates (CTR) by 10% on average.