When it comes to your business’s online reputation, your online reviews aren’t just about the happy customers. Where your reviews come from is just as important, as there are different positives and consequences that can come with large numbers of reviews on a given website. Here we will compare two of the most popular review sites: Yelp vs Google Reviews.
Yelp is often seen as the more traditional place for business and service reviews, but Google Reviews, available through the popular search engine, have made for a valid competitor that has quickly taken over in popularity. Popularity is hardly equal to being superior, though, as both have their own benefits as customer review sources.
Here are some of the main benefits of each of these types of customer review sites. If you plan to request reviews from your clients and customers, you should definitely consider these factors before you decide what link to send them.
Google Reviews are the newer entry to the user review world, with their reviews appearing everywhere, from innocent Google searches of business to their address and map information in the Maps part of their website. This range comes with some great versatility that can absolutely benefit your business, but also has some negatives.
Pro: Quicker Process
Something extremely beneficial to Google Reviews is that it’s remarkably quick for users to submit a review, as the only account they need is the standard Google account that most individuals already have. Setting up an account for Yelp requires more time since it’s a third-party site, and that ease in using an account you already have for email and social media makes Google Reviews quite fast for users to write their reviews.
Even without considering your customer’s online accounts, it’s still remarkably faster to send a quick Google review compared to making a Yelp review. Writing a review is a one-button process that lets you quickly give a rating out of five stars, and a small optional text box to give a quick one-sentence review. If all you want to do is give a star rating and a few suggested one-word comments, you can easily leave a high-quality Google review in under 30 seconds.
Pro: More Visibility
One of the major benefits to Google is that it’s a site that users are already using for their everyday searches, while Yelp usually requires you to search on their website to get a worthwhile and accurate review of a specific business. Between Google’s stronger algorithm and the accurate Map data, users are able to read Google reviews without any challenges or searching, since they’ll always appear with any given business.
While this can create a chance for negative reviews to stand out more, potential customers are still going to get a more accurate idea of your services and strengths here than on Yelp. With Google being used for so many other things, your user reviews on Google are simply going to reach more eyes, regardless of whether you directly market yourself with them.
Con: Less Substantial Reviews
The quick and easy nature of Google Reviews does come with a slight problem in terms of the quality of your reviews, as many users won’t put too much thought or consideration into their reviews due to the lower minimum inputs they need to make. They won’t be considering very many traits of your business or service, and instead will be giving a very general review that may not feature many details.
There are definitely some reviewers who go above and beyond by writing longer paragraphs about their experience, but these are far less common on Google than many other online review websites. Many consumers may not recognize or care about this, but if your business provides especially unique goods or services, you may want slightly more detailed content for your future customers to consider.
While Google has definitely become more popular over the years, Yelp has remained a consistently popular source for reviewing all sorts of businesses and services, particularly clinics and restaurants. Compared to other online review sources, it’s remained significantly more successful than sites like Trip Advisor and Foursquare, and even today it’s still worth considering for your main source of Yelp reviews.
Pro: Great Brand Recognition
Much like how Google’s search engine is popular enough to be used as a verb, Yelp is an extremely well-known site with content that people are plenty aware of. Before Google reviews were even a thing, Yelp made its name as the place to learn about businesses. That recognition is much of why it’s remained so high among other online review sites.
This makes it much easier to advertise since having a high number of Yelp reviews is much more impressive than the less substantial and more forgettable Google reviews. As a result, having more Yelp reviews can be a much better proof of your business’s quality.
Pro: Higher Quality Reviews
Speaking of quality, it should be mentioned that Yelp is much more frequently seen as a site for detailed reviews, rather than just featuring quick ratings and comments. Reviews don’t have to be lengthy, but the site encourages users to write far more content about their experience, as well as telling stories about what it was like visiting or communicating with them as a customer.
Once again, this makes Yelp reviews much more brag-worthy, since being highly-rated on Yelp can be more easily explained based on quotes from satisfied customers or clients. Since not everyone has the time or interest to write long reviews, you may have slightly fewer reviews on Yelp than on Google, but the general quality and accuracy of each review will undoubtedly be higher.
Con: More Negative Reviews
The biggest problem with Yelp comes on the other side of its reputation, as many treat Yelp as a place to give detailed complaints about services they greatly disliked. Leaving negative Yelp reviews can be much more impactful on other users’ reviews, as seeing large numbers of low ratings and detailed stories can prevent satisfied customers from posting more positive reviews.
The solution to this is undoubtedly to just provide service that reviewers would consider positive, but some individuals can definitely be hard to please. They may rate your business based on things out of your control. This means that a negative score will likely be more impactful with potential customers on Yelp than on Google.
Which Is Better?
Once again, these sites are generally quite equal in most ways, and they provide greatly different benefits that may suit certain businesses differently. That being said, it’s very likely that Google reviews are the better online marketing tool, as they’re simply more popular and numerous than the generally declining and detail-heavy Yelp reviews.
This isn’t to say Yelp is useless or not worth using as a marketing tool, but it may not necessarily be as easy to use in advertising as your large amount of broad and flexible Google Reviews. Neither is inherently a bad option, but unless you have a specific reason for using Yelp in your marketing, it’s generally more worthwhile to utilize your Google reviews instead.