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Google Updates Searches to Give Yelpers What They Want

Earlier this month, Yelp accused search giant Google of manipulating search results to boost Google's own content over the user-generated review site, and today, it seems like Google has fixed the "problem." The Search Engine Land blog reports Google's recent update, which promises more accurate local search results, offers the top search results to Yelp when the word "Yelp" is included in the search phrase. (Previously, according to Yelp, Google's own content, including Google Maps and Google Places reviews, would be ranked higher, even if the searcher explicitly used the word "Yelp" in his or her search. In some instances, Yelp's listing would not appear until the second Google results page.)

After the update, which kicked in yesterday, searches of "Restaurant Name + Yelp" delivered Yelp results in the top spot, often before the restaurant's official website, and the same boost occurs with searches including other big-name review and travel sites, like TripAdvisor and Urbanspoon. In the past, Google's rivalry with Yelp has gone so far as to run deceptive ads for Zagat (and offer Zagat's content) to users who explicitly search Google for Yelp.

· Google's Update Solves Yelp Problem [SEL]
· All Google Coverage on Eater [-E-]