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.
    Miriam

  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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