Google just announced an update of the reviews section of Google Places, which essentially separates reviews from sites like Yelp, Zagat, Citygrid and others into separate category, called “Reviews From Around The Web.” Places used to just list outside reviews under a “Reviews” section. Now you can click on the Yelp review and be taken to the review on the Yelp page for the establishment. On Places, you’ll also see now see a section dubbed “Reviews from Google Users.”
The big news here is that Yelp reviews are back after a passive aggressive battle between Yelp and Google over whether Google could list Yelp’s reviews on Places pages. Yelp has been publicly frustrated by Google’s decision to pump up its Places service with Yelp’s content— without Yelp’s consent.
Yelp complained and Google started to remove the reviews from the “reviews” section but still featured Yelp reviews in the “more about this place section,” —- which is the last section of a Google Place page.
It seems that with Google has come to some sort of licensing agreement (not sure if it is a financial agreement) with Yelp, and other reviews sites to post these reviews on Places with a link back to the actual content. Another observation—the “reviews from around the web” section is listed above the “reviews from Google Users section.”
Here’s the official comment from Yelp:
We are in a continuing dialogue with Google to try to work together to ensure consumers are able to find Yelp content easily and fairly. Those efforts are ongoing.