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Yelp vs. Google Reviews: Which matters more for customer reviews?

20 May, 2023 · 5 min read·Business
Yelp vs. Google Reviews: Which matters more for customer reviews?
Wondering which matters more for customer reviews between Yelp and Google Reviews? Read our blog post to learn the pros and cons of each platform.

Online customer reviews have become a significant driving force behind the success or failure of businesses today. With the prevalence of review platforms like Yelp and Google Reviews, customers can share their experiences with millions of potential patrons, impacting business revenue and reputation. 

Yelp has become a popular platform for both customers and businesses alike. It has over 178 million unique visitors per month. Meanwhile, with over 5 billion searches per day on Google, Google Reviews has the potential to reach a broader audience than Yelp. 

In this blog post, we’ll compare and contrast Yelp and Google Reviews. Let's dive in and explore the different features and benefits of each platform.

Importance of online customer reviews

Customer reviews are crucial when you’re choosing a business or service. In fact, according to a study by BrightLocal, 91% of consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. With the rise of online platforms such as Yelp and Google Reviews, businesses must effectively manage their online reputation, so they can attract and retain customers better.

Attract. Win. Serve.

Overview of Yelp and Google Reviews

Yelp and Google Reviews are two of the most widely used online review platforms today. Yelp, founded in 2004, is known for its comprehensive database of local business reviews, while Google Reviews, launched in 2009, is integrated with the Google search engine and maps. Both platforms allow customers to leave ratings and written comments on their experiences with a business, and they are free to use for both customers and businesses.

As Yelp and Google Reviews continue to grow in popularity, businesses must understand the unique features and benefits of each platform to effectively navigate and manage their online reputation. 


Yelp is a user-generated content platform that provides reviews and recommendations for local businesses. These include restaurants, bars, and retail stores. It was founded in 2004 and now has over 200 million reviews for businesses worldwide.

Yelp's star rating system and review content provide customers with insights into a business's quality, and businesses can use the platform to gain exposure and attract new customers. 

Key features

Yelp allows customers to search for businesses by category, location, and reviews. It includes information on hours of operation, address, phone number, and website. Customers can leave reviews and ratings for businesses, as well as photos and videos.

How it works for businesses

Businesses can claim their Yelp profile and respond to reviews. They can also add information such as photos, menus, and special offers. Yelp uses an algorithm to determine which reviews appear and in what order.

Pros and cons

Yelp can be a great tool for businesses to attract new customers and increase visibility. However, it also has the potential for negative reviews and can be difficult to manage. Yelp has been criticized for unfairly filtering reviews and for its advertising practices.

Google Reviews

Google Reviews is a review platform powered by Google that allows customers to leave reviews for businesses. Google Reviews appears directly on Google search results, making it easily accessible for potential customers. 

Key features 

Google Reviews allows customers to find the best local businesses based on their location, business hours, photos, and customer ratings. Google Reviews also offers a range of interactive features for customers, including the ability to add photos, share feedback, and like other users’ reviews.

How it works for businesses

For businesses, Google Reviews provides a free online profile that includes basic business information, photos, reviews, and ratings. Google Reviews also offers a range of tools and analytics for businesses to track and manage their online reputation and customer reviews.

Pros and cons

One of the main advantages of Google Reviews for customers is the wealth of information and reviews available on the platform. This allows them to make informed decisions about where to dine, shop, or seek services. However, Google Reviews has faced criticism for its review system. Some users complain about not having much control over which customer reviews get posted. There are also some requests for more customization features. 

Yelp vs. Google Reviews: comparison

Yelp and Google Reviews are two of the most prominent review platforms. Both offer businesses the chance to showcase their products or services. This allows customers to freely express their opinions on said products or services. In this section, we will compare the key features of Yelp and Google Reviews to help you decide which platform is best for your business.

User interface and design

Yelp has long been praised for its slick user interface and intuitive design. It's easy to navigate. Users also have the ability to sort reviews based on a variety of criteria. Google Reviews, on the other hand, has a simpler interface and is more focused on functionality. Users can filter reviews by date or rating but aren't able to sort by categories such as price or atmosphere.

Review filtering and moderation

Both Yelp and Google Reviews employ algorithms to filter out fake or malicious reviews. However, Yelp's system has a reputation for being more stringent, often removing genuine reviews that may appear to be fake. Conversely, Google Reviews' algorithm is often criticized for being too lax, allowing fake reviews to slip through the cracks. When it comes to moderation, Yelp relies on a team of humans to review flagged content, whereas Google Reviews is entirely automated.

Trustworthiness and reliability

In terms of trustworthiness, Yelp has been surrounded by controversy in the past due to allegations of review manipulation and extortion. While Yelp has always denied these claims, its reputation has undoubtedly been tarnished. Google Reviews, on the other hand, benefits from being part of the wider Google network. This lends it a certain amount of credibility. However, some businesses have still been known to buy fake reviews, which can skew the reliability of Google Reviews.

Community engagement and interaction

Yelp has always been known for its engaged community, with users frequently posting photos and tips for local businesses. This community-driven approach has helped Yelp foster a strong sense of loyalty among its users. Google Reviews' approach is more utilitarian, with less of a focus on community interaction. While users can still leave photos and comments, engagement is generally lower than on Yelp.

Overall reach and influence

When it comes to sheer numbers, Google Reviews has the upper hand. As part of the Google network, Google Reviews is integrated into many search results and business listings. It's also worth noting that Google Reviews has more global reach than Yelp, which is more heavily focused on the US market. However, Yelp's dedicated user base and engaged community make it a force to be reckoned with, particularly in certain industries such as restaurants and bars.

Both Yelp and Google Reviews have their strengths and weaknesses. Ultimately, the choice between the two will come down to your individual business needs and preferences. However, it's worth noting that actively managing and responding to customer reviews on both platforms can greatly benefit your business by helping to build trust and establish a positive online presence.

Factors to consider when choosing between Yelp and Google Reviews

Small businesses today understand that managing online customer reviews is an essential part of building their reputation and driving traffic to their establishment. However, with so many different platforms available, which one should businesses prioritize? Here are some factors to consider when choosing between Yelp and Google Reviews.

Industry preferences and norms

The first thing to consider is whether your industry has a preference for either Yelp or Google Reviews. For example, restaurants and bars tend to have more reviews on Yelp, whereas professional and service-oriented businesses have more on Google Reviews. It's essential to research your specific industry and see which platform your competitors are using.

Case studies of successful businesses 

It's also helpful to look at case studies of successful businesses on both platforms. For instance, businesses with high-end clientele may find that Yelp is a better fit, as it caters to a more upscale demographic. On the other hand, businesses in the tech industry might have more success with Google Reviews, as it's more tech-oriented.

Best practices for managing customer reviews

Regardless of which platform you choose, there are some best practices for managing customer reviews that you should follow. For instance, responding to negative reviews in a professional and courteous manner, soliciting reviews from satisfied customers, and using customer feedback to improve your business operations.

Ultimately, there is no right or wrong choice between Yelp and Google Reviews. Instead, businesses should prioritize both platforms, as they have unique features that can benefit their online presence. By actively monitoring and responding to customer reviews on both platforms, businesses can build a positive reputation that drives traffic and increases revenue.

Which platform should you prioritize?

After analyzing the key differences between Yelp and Google Reviews, it's clear that both platforms play a significant role in shaping a business's online reputation. Rather than choosing one over the other, businesses should prioritize actively monitoring and responding to customer reviews on both Yelp and Google Reviews.

Yelp and Google Reviews each have unique features and advantages, but ultimately serve the same purpose: providing valuable customer feedback and influencing a business's online reputation. Yelp has a strong community of users and a robust platform for engaging with customers, while Google Reviews offers wider brand visibility and search engine optimization benefits. Managing customer reviews on both platforms is critical for any business.

To effectively manage customer reviews on both platforms, businesses should have a system in place for tracking and responding to reviews in a timely manner. This can include setting up email or text alerts for new reviews, assigning team members to handle review responses, and using customer feedback to inform business decisions and improve service.

Improve your reputation and gain clients with an online presence

Online customer reviews can make or break a business. That's why it's essential for businesses to prioritize their online reputation management strategy. By actively monitoring and responding to customer reviews on Yelp and Google Reviews, businesses can build trust with their target audience and drive long-term success. 

Another way to build credibility is through a high-quality website. B12 enables you to launch your own professional site where you can showcase not only your services but also testimonials from clients. What’s more, B12 lets you build a site that fits your branding, from your logo and color schemes to your fonts and other visual elements, while ensuring other touchpoints like forms and emails reflect your brand too. Get started launching yours today. 

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