If you search for “Yelp” on Google from your mobile phone the top paid result, even above the organic result to Yelp.com, takes you to Zagat. I am only seeing this on mobile searches. While it is a common practice for companies to advertise against their competitors’ names in search advertising, in this case it is Google itself which is bidding for that search term and taking the top spot. A classy move.
Google bought Zagat last September to shore up its local reviews for Google Places, which is its answer to Yelp. Google Places and Yelp have a contentious history, with Google borrowing liberally from yelp to help build up its local directory. Now with Zagat, Google finally has a large corpus if its own review, in addition to the ones people are slowly adding to Google Places. By redirecting some of the people who are looking for Yelp to Zagat, Google is keeping up its pattern of punching Yelp in the face every chance it gets.
Google is really hitting Yelp where it hurts. During an antitrust hearing last September, Yelp revealed that 75 percent of its traffic comes from Google in one way or another. A big chunk of that is from organic search. If Yelp is not the top spot when someone searches for “Yelp” that could have some impact on Yelp’s traffic. Yelp might have to respond by bidding on its own name on AdWords. One way or another, Google’s aggressiveness in pushing Zagat is going to cost Yelp.
Another company founded in 2004 by two former PayPal employees.
Yelp is a local reviews website covering the United States, Canada, the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands; Yelp drew an audience of more than 50 million unique visitors in March 2011.
Yelpers have written more than 18 million local reviews, making Yelp the leading local guide for real word-of-mouth on everything from boutiques and mechanics to restaurants and dentists.
ZAGAT.com features over 30,000 of the best places to eat, drink, and stay worldwide. The site is published by and based on the renowned 30 years, Zagat Survey (a survey-based restaurant guide).
ZAGAT.com provides access to ratings and reviews for restaurants, nightspots, hotels and attractions in hundreds of cities worldwide. It features menus, photos, virtual tours, updates on the latest openings and closings with ZAGAT BUZZ and connect with other ZAGAT.com members in our bustling Discussion Boards.
Google provides search and advertising services, which together aim to organize and monetize the world’s information. In addition to its dominant search engine, it offers a plethora of online tools and platforms including: Gmail, Maps and YouTube. Most of its Web-based products are free, funded by Google’s highly integrated online advertising platforms AdWords and AdSense. Google promotes the idea that advertising should be highly targeted and relevant to users thus providing them with a rich source of information….