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Yelp cried foul when Google pumped some iron and skewed search results to hurt the review site a couple of years ago, but Yelp has been unimpressed with Google’s efforts in local search, including its acquisitions of Zagat and Frommer’s.
CEO Jeremy Stoppelman told financial analysts today that Google’s efforts in Google Local haven’t had a big impact on Yelp, and he doesn’t expect much to change with Google’s acquisitions of Zagat and Frommer’s, which are cornerstones of the Google Local initiative.
“And so it’s not surprising that they [Google] continue to invest in that area because of its enormous potential,” Stoppelman said. “But really, the things that they’ve done in the past haven’t had a big impact, and that’s why every year there’s sort of a big announcement that this time it’s different, and I think that’s some of what you’re seeing, whether it’s Zagat or Frommer’s. It’s trying to re-energize something that’s been struggling for a long time.”
Stoppleman’s comments serve as a reminder that while Google is the king of search, some of its efforts, from Google Flight Search to Google Hotel Finder and Google Local have yet to move mountains.
Google, of course, has a lot of traction with Android in mobile, and these devices provide important traffic to local business-review site Yelp, but Stoppelman said he’s more impressed with the level of activity of iOS users.
“So iOS, there’s more people actively using that app on a monthly basis than Android,” Stoppelman said. “Both are significant for us, both are material traffic. I don’t have any specific numbers on page views per users or search per user to measure that kind of engagement, but I was speaking more generally about our people using apps. So more engagement on the [iOS] platform, period.”
Score one for Apple over Google, in Yelp’s perspective, at least.