Yahoo: It’s the Stars, Not the Reviews

Filed in Local Search, Word of Mouth, Yahoo by Matt McGee on March 3, 2008 5 Comments

Yahoo Local logoIn light of my weekend post about ratings and reviews not mattering when local listings are shown in the Yahoo! Shortcuts, we had a little dustup today and it turns out the original post needs clarifying. Here’s the real and accurate story:

Ratings (stars) are taken into account, but review text is not.

That’s word-for-word from Yahoo! today, who contacted both myself and Greg Sterling (who reported on my original post; don’t you love blogging?). It’s in reference to factors that influence which listings get shown in a Yahoo Shortcut on Yahoo’s main SERPs. (Both ratings and reviews are factors when you’re using Yahoo Local.)

Again, this was all in response to last week’s excellent Local & Blended Search panel at SMX West where the Yahoo and Microsoft reps shared a lot of quality information in response to audience questions. Let’s hope this dustup doesn’t discourage search engine reps from being so helpful in future panels, right?

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  1. SoloSEO says:

    I did think that was surprising that they wouldn’t give any weight to the reviews themselves, so this is comforting. Thanks for being the point man on clarifying it. :)

  2. Miriam says:

    Matt –
    This has been quite the story. *The rep Greg spoke to said reviews count SOMETIMES in Yahoo Local.

    I’m still turning that over in my mind.

    Thanks for keeping us posted on this.

  3. davidmihm says:

    Aha, this makes a lot more sense. I was quite surprised to hear that Yahoo would go against the Local grain and not count review ratings.

    But I imagine that not taking review text into account probably helps combat review spam to some extent…

  4. copywriter39 says:

    In the original post there was a screenshot showing the top listing had no stars. Did the Yahoo rep have any explanation of this?

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