Are Yahoo and Yelp Dating?

Filed in Local Search, Yahoo by Matt McGee on February 27, 2008

There’s a lot of buzz here at SMX West about the new “Open Search” idea that Yahoo introduced yesterday. The reaction is generally very positive, and the official announcement on Yahoo’s search blog has also generated a lot of discussion and, no doubt, a lot of traffic.

That announcement uses a restaurant listing from Yelp.com as its example, and as soon as I saw it, I thought Man, that’s some nice exposure for Yelp, isn’t it?. Here’s the image they used:

Yelp on Yahoo

People/webmasters everywhere read the Yahoo search blog, right? And that listing looks nice — it shows off the great content Yelp offers about this one local business. So, how’d they land that gig as the poster child of Yahoo’s new Open Search platform?

I suppose it could be purely coincidence, but I think this is how:

Yahoo on Yelp

At the bottom of every business profile page on Yelp, right next to the “Write a Review” button, there are now links to view the appropriate category results page on Yahoo Local. And even better, those are followed links with terrific keyword usage in the anchor text.

So, yes, it looks like Yelp and Yahoo are dating. I’m no industry pundit, but it makes perfect sense given Yahoo’s understanding and appreciation of healthy online communities (Flickr, Upcoming.org, del.icio.us, etc.). And if the relationship grows, that could have a big impact on the local search landscape, don’t you think? :)