Earlier this month, Brafton reported that businesses can now respond to reviews on Google Places. This feature had already been an option for entrepreneurs through Yelp, and now it seems Google has updated its Places review policy and it might move Yelp off of Google Maps.
Google recently announced that it had updated and clarified its guidelines and policies for writing reviews. Businesses may benefit from this because the updated review policy prohibits consumers from including inappropriate content – including spam, hate speech, sexually explicit material and more – that may tarnish a brand's reputation.
Google says these changes are in keeping with its idea that reviews should help consumers share relevant information, and apparently Yelp reviews are not deemed a useful part of Places' conversation. Google explains that neither it nor Yelp were satisfied with how Yelp content appeared in Places.
Google's official statement is, "for the time being, Yelp pages may not appear as review snippets in Place page results, though relevant results from Yelp will continue appear in the 'more about this place' section."
Marketers who have had trying experiences with the very vocal consumers on Yelp may be happy to hear this. Even though the site lets business owners respond to reviews, it does not have the stringent content policies Google has just initiated. Marketing Pilgrim reported earlier this year that a number of companies were suing Yelp for refusing to take down malicious reviews that harmed word-of-web referrals unless marketers could pay high fees.