YELP YELPS. GOOGLE SUSPENDS.

Yelp announces layoffs and furloughs last week as their advertising sales tank. 2,100 employees are effected. This a result of coronavirus and their main advertiser category, restaurants, cancelling their ads.

In addition, Google has announced the suspension of all new customer reviews on websites until further notice.

What does this mean for your company’s website and your sales? In brief:

  1. Google Customer Reviews: Will not be updated on your Google My Business Page which feeds your website. Your customers can still leave reviews, and the review box will still function. The reviews just will not be posted to your page.
     
  2. YELP! Reviews: Your customers can still leave reviews on Yelp and the general public will have little knowledge of any change. You just won’t be receiving calls to advertise as it looks like all those people have been separated for the time being. We would imagine Yelp Support will be effected too.
     
  3. Customer Reviews Strategy: We know that Google algorithms give page rank authority to their reviews and how many individual reviews your site is showing. Still encourage your customers to leave these reviews even if they are not posted immediately. In addition, we imagine that there will be some “astroturfing” of Yelp reviews as there will probably be little oversight at Yelp about fake reviews and whatnot. Many of you would argue that there never was in the first place, but that’s another story. Be sure to monitor your Yelp reviews and those of your competitors, however.
     

Here’s another example of major disruptions to the typical business plans of two companies that effect your site’s page rank and effectiveness. They also greatly affect its engagement with your customers. As we wrote last week, use these disruptions to your advantage.

Onward and upward!


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Bob Ottaway

The author, Bob Ottaway, is President and Founder of Ottaway Digital. Established in 1999, it has been a pioneer in SEO, digital advertising & social media since 2006.