Yelp to Power Bing Local Pages
Just last week, we talked about some major upgrades coming to Apple's mobile operating system iOS6, namely a collaboration with Yelp that will allow Siri users to instantly retrieve menus, locations, prices, reviews and other information about local restaurants. According to another recent announcement, it appears that Yelp will also be working with Microsoft and its Bing search engine in addition to Apple. Yelp, of course, is well known for facilitating user reviews for all types of cultural establishments, including restaurants, bars, shopping, spas, hotels and the like. A post on the Yelp Official Blog indicates that Yelp will power all searches for local content on Bing, including the presentation of photos, review snippets and business attributes.
"Powered by Yelp"
Although the new collaboration has yet to be fully integrated into all of Bing's search results, conducting a search for a local restaurant or business, or even keyword phrase -- like aromatherapy Seattle -- in your area may reveal what's new already. When viewing Bing's local pages, you'll notice a "powered by Yelp" branding in the upper right corner. Below this, you'll see an average rating for the business along with features (full bar, wheelchair access, catering, etc.), photos, directions, hours and even the name of the chef. The news means that Bing has caught up at least in some way with Apple and Google, the latter of which is now using Zagat ratings directly within its Google+ Local pages. USA Today and other sources indicate that Google paid $151 million to Zagat's in order to secure this deal. It also means that Yelp is officially a major player in the social media sphere, and that the biggest players count it as a valuable resource in expanding and improving their own services. In other words, if you own stock in Yelp, expect to see some hefty profits soon.
Where Bing Stands Now
Although Bing is doing its best to keep up with Google from a features perspective, they're still behind where it really counts: user traffic. Google climbed from 66.5% to 66.7% of overall search market share from April to May, while Bing remained at 15.4% between these two months. Yahoo dropped slightly from 13.5% to 13.3%. In terms of raw search results, Google served 11.7 billion in May while Bing served just 2.7 billion. At present, it seems as though no end is in sight to Google's dominance. True to the industry, however, that could change faster than you can say "Facebook IPO."