In the olden days before Google, the only game in town for local listings was the Yellow Pages. Today, everywhere you look, you’ll find companies hinging their future success on how well they can help people find the closest and best places to shop, eat, etc.
Turns out, having accurate local business listings is worth billions and billions of dollars.
One of the biggest players in the local listings industrial complex is Yelp.com, the review site that small businesses sometimes love (when they generate lots of new customers for the business) and hate (when someone posts a negative review about them).
Recently, Yelp had the chance to feel the sting of such a negative review when a study claimed that Yellow Page sites related to SuperPages.com (Dex) have more accurate local listing data than Yelp.
Yelp did what it recommends to a business when it gets a negative review: “If you feel a public comment is necessary, present your case as simply and politely as possible.” In other words, they conducted their own research.
(Spoiler alert) The results were precisely the same as when a local business gets its employees to do a study of whether or not a customer was right when he or she posted a negative review. According to research conducted by Yelp employees, Yelp has better local listings than anyone but Google. So, there, Superpages.com.
As I believe in self-serving statistics about as much as I do a Yelp review posted by the daughter of the business owner, I will skip questioning the methodology of Yelp’s study. But I will note they chose establishments from “best of” lists appearing in local publications, skewing the studied group in the direction of companies that have mastered the art of using the internet to vote them on such lists.
Disclosure: I love Yelp. I once even had a review named “review of the day.” Another disclosure: I’ve never used SuperPages.com.