Bing & Yelp Together in Local Search

Posted by on June 22, 2012

Bing and YelpNot too long ago, Bing’s VP of Program Management Derrick Connell made the claim that Bing was just as good, if not better in some regards, as competitor Google in local search results. A recently released study from Implied Intelligence appears to support those claims, with Bing tying for the top spot with Yellowbook and Superbook, the two Yellow Pages properties. Google Maps comes in fourth, and Yellowpages comes in fifth, thus closing out the top five.

However, Microsoft has just recently (not more than 5 days ago) announced a partnership with review site Yelp, and will start incorporating Yelp’s review archive into Bing’s local search results in an effort to improve the service. Already, “Powered by Yelp” results are starting to show up for some businesses in Bing Local Search, but it isn’t entirely clear at this point whether or not the study from Implied Intelligence took this data into account.

Assuming that the data cited in the study does not include the new Yelp results, we can see that Bing wasn’t doing all that poorly to begin with, but when you consider that Yelp ranked 8th in the same study, and 6th in a previous one, one can’t help but wonder if their partnership will end up devaluing Bing’s search results by flooding it with low quality data. Hopefully, the partnership is only intended to take from Yelp the things Bing needed in the first place, and nothing more.