While Google Place Pages is a largely automated directory, from the listings themselves to the ads they run, Yelp has 26 million highly engaged users constantly updating reviews and listing data -- not to mention a real live sales team calling on local businesses. Greg Sterling at Search Engine Land and suggests that Google could use Yelp for
- Distributing geotargeted display and text ads on Yelp
- Using Yelp as an ï¿¼onrampï¿¼ for Local Listing Ads, which will reappear next year
So, best case scenario, a Google-Yelp combination makes it easier for small and local businesses to maintain accurate listings, and to deal with the reviews they get. Google smooths out Yelp's alleged tendency to manipulate reviews based on whether or not the business advertises on the service. And businesses get a real live saleperson to interface with the newly combined operation.
Predictably, the worst case scenario is pretty much the opposite: you get Google's high-automation, no-customer-service approach mixed with Yelp's oft-questioned business practices.
Either way, if this acquisition goes through, it will be a big deal for small and local businesses. Sterling calls it an "earthquake."
More From bMighty:
Follow Fredric Paul on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/TheFreditor Follow bMighty.com on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/bMighty Put a bMighty toolbar on your browser Put a bMighty gadget on your iGoogle page Get bMighty on your mobile device