Yahoo Turns To Yelp To Beef Up Local Search

Yahoo-Yelp dealAccording to a report appearing today in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Yahoo will be incorporating local content and listings from Yelp into its main search results. As the article points out, Yelp has a similar deal with Microsoft-Bing and, of course, with Apple (maps).

Yelp has an API that permits third parties to use of a portion of its reviews and local listings content. The Bing deal, announced in June of last year, is a more elaborate version of that with a deeper integration. Below is a screenshot of how Yelp content is shown in Bing search results today:

Yelp Bing integration

Yahoo has recently started to introduce a new, more elaborate presentation of local business content into its search results. Like the Bing page above (and like Google) there will be a structured box on the right that offers a broad range of enhanced information.

It’s very likely that we’ll see Yelp reviews, photos and other content integrated into Yahoo search in a way very similar to the Bing example. However Yahoo will probably go further if it considers Yelp’s content a potential differentiator.

New Yahoo Local results

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has been trying to upgrade Yahoo search in a number of ways and has expressed frustration with the Bing relationship. Continued content and UI improvements in Yahoo’s PC results may halt a further market-share slide but they’re unlikely to do much to regain desktop search share for Yahoo.

It will be more interesting to see how Yahoo uses the Yelp content in mobile search results. That’s where I believe Yahoo has an opportunity to gain some ground.

Assuming the WSJ story is accurate the market should reward Yelp for another high-profile deal. The local reviews site reported solid revenue and usage growth last week.