How Was Google Planning To Leverage The Yelp Brand?

There are a number of opportunities but what caught my eye this morning was a screenshot in an article by Aaron Wall, Google’s Youtube Caught Cloaking to Spam Google Users & Increase Ad Revenues.

Aaron makes an important point regarding Google’s lack of ethics–how Google is abusing their universal search results to spam searchers with YouTube results. He goes on to make the case that Google could repeat this type of behavior with additional acquisitions such as Yelp, stating:

“…as soon as Google gets a market dominant position, you can bet on them locking it down to enhance ad revenues. The secret search relevancy algorithms, AdWords ad quality score, using AdWords rebates to push Google Checkout, always-on search personalization (even when logged out), mystery meat payout rates to AdSense publishing partners, universal search algorithms that allow them to arbitrarily promote their own websites, YouTube cloaking, etc etc etc”

Aaron then points out that Google jumped the gun on Yelp by integrating Yelp reviews in their AdWords ads before the acquisition was finalized:

yelp-reviews-in-google-adwords.jpg

I was not aware Google was testing this. It is certainly a great way to leverage the Yelp brand if Google was able to acquire them. Follow Greg Sterling’s updates on Google-Yelp developments here, here, here, here, and here.

Aaron also addresses the Mahalo hypocrisy here and here.


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