Google. Google. Google. It’s always about Google, isn’t it? And why shouldn’t it be? Searchenginewatch.com says that as of July 2012, Google owns a 66.8% share of the search engine market with primary competitors Bing and Yahoo far, far, FAR behind. The people have spoken and Google is their search engine of choice.
Fair enough. But to that, their primary competitor has retorted…Bing it on! Microsoft search engine, Bing has chosen to ante up and strategically partner with key consumer review and recommendations website, Yelp, to take on the search giant Google and win back some market share.
In case you may not know, this is really good news for you. Why? As a dentist and business owner dependent on high search rankings and positive online reviews, this new partnership gives your business an additional method of online exposure necessary to stand out in a crowded marketplace. How? If you have a robust Yelp listing (which you should), it could help get your practice get added to Bing Local. Further, if patients use Bing (15.6% of search engine users do), when they search for something in their city, Yelp reviews will show up on the right side of the screen. Bing Local will also use photos and business attributes uploaded to a business’ Yelp profile in local searches.
Well that’s neat. But isn’t Yelp just an online version of that big yellow book full of phone numbers that STILL comes to your doorstep? Nope. How is it different than the yellow pages? While most of us are using the yellow pages book as a makeshift doorstop, Yelp is growing and becoming very important to the dialogue between patients and dentists. And because that dialogue is significant to patients, search engines consider those reviews and recommendations when determining your search ranking, (i.e. having your website show up first.) Forbes.com says to consider these Yelp statistics:
- Yelp had an average of approximately 71 million monthly unique visitors in Q1 of 2012
- 6.3 million unique visitors used a Yelp mobile app
- Every second a consumer looked up or called a business from a Yelp mobile app in Q4 of 2011.
Those are some compelling numbers! While optimizing your online presence for Google search engines should always be a key part of your marketing strategy, it’s clear that Bing and Yelp are not to be ignored. Have they caught up to Google? Absolutely not, their partnership is in its early stages in rolling out to different business categories on Bing Local. Additionally, Websitemagazine.com says that standard web crawls, Bing Business Portal and InfoUSA listings will still play a role in Bing search, so you should still include them in your search strategy too.
It’s time to ask yourself a question; are you doing everything you can to optimize your website and business listings on Google, Bing AND Yelp? If you hesitated even a little bit, call us today to learn how we can make sure your business is taking advantage of these new developments.
Sources: Searchenginewatch.com, 2012; Websitemagazine.com, 2012; Forbes.com, 2012