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A colleague of mine passed along this reply he received from a Yelp Support rep. It validates many of the previous Yelp Ranking Factors that Phil went over on this great post - Yelp Ranking Factors | LocalVisibilitySystem.com
What do you guys think?
What do you guys think?
Yelp search results are based on a confidential algorithm and while we do not have the exact formula, a few things that may influence search and rankings include review text, star ratings, number of reviews, text that a business includes in their listing in the Specialties/History/Meet the Business Owner sections, key words that a searcher types in and location the searcher seeks.
Yelp functions similarly to the other search engines in that it looks to match the key words that the searcher types in. There are a few reasons why you are not likely to be presented in a search for ??? Agent? near ?Mooresville, NC?. Currently, you do not have the key word ?Agent? anywhere in your Specialties, History or Meet the Business Owner sections of your listings. You also do not have any reviews from consumers who reference the word ?Agent? in their text.
If you perform a search with the key words ?Allstate?, ?Allstate Insurance? or ?Insurance? near ?Mooresville, IL? you will likely find the your listings do show up in the search results because all of the key words typed in appear in your listing. If you would like to increase the odds that you appear in search results for a specific key word, we would recommend that you add it to the Specialties, History or Meet the Business Owner section of your listing. We would caution against what search engines call ?key word stuffing?, which is adding key words to game the system and attain better results. Ultimately, text should be written for a consumer as they would be reading it and should have a nice flow ? it should not just be a laundry list of words that you would like be tied to your search results. Pages/listings/websites that are suspected of key word stuffing, could potentially see a decrease in traffic over time as the search engines become aware and remove or block you from appearing at all in search results.
Another thing that will help you to appear more often in search results is to receive more reviews. As you receive more reviews, the text from consumers becomes ?eligible? to be searched for key words, in addition to the limited character space available in the Specialties, History or Meet the Business Owner sections. Reviews not only help you with searches on Yelp, they also have the potential to show up in search outside of Yelp (on Google, Yahoo, etc.).
One last thing worth mentioning is that adding additional photographs or the agency video from Marketing Package will make a listing more dynamic and interesting from a consumers perspective. Our recommendation would be to add pictures of the agency, of staff, a group photo, of events that you have worked, etc. to further personalize your listing. Certain pictures may be displayed in mobile search (for example the street view may appear for people seeking out directions and maps to a location) to help consumers find the agency more easily. These things may have an indirect effect on search results.