Already irked with the search engine, Yelp is crying foul again and this time Google admits there’s a problem. Yelp and TripAdvisor results are being pushed down in Google’s search results, but it’s a coding bug, says Google.
TripAdvisor and Yelp noticed the problem over the weekend. Even highly specific queries, such as those including terms “Yelp” or “TripAdvisor,” would rank lower than less relevant results from Google.
Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman documented the issue in a screen grab and then shared it in a tweet.
TripAdvisor CEO Stephen Kaufer was also grieved by the way Google’s search engine was displaying search results.
While Yelp has accused the Chrome company of abusing the world’s most popular search engine, Google says this wasn’t an intentional change to its ranking algorithm.
“The issues cited were caused by a recent code push, which we’re working quickly to fix,” a Google spokespersonsaid.
Things seem to be back to normal now, but last weekend’s search issue drew up another chapter in a series of conflicts between Yelp and Google.
Yelp previously accused Google of injecting Google results into listings that would have turned up links to Yelp and other local search sites. A Yelp-sponsored study discussed how Google was injecting “Google+ local-powered rich snippets to ‘barnacle’ or piggy back on the URLs of local businesses” in search engine results pages.
Coming off of this latest conflict with Google, Yelp’s Stoppelman asserted that last weekend’s issue was “far from a glitch” and a “pattern of behavior” by Google. While Kaufer has this to say: “[i]t’s clear that Google continues to seek ways to manipulate its search results to benefit Google’s own interests. Google’s behavior to suppress the most useful and relevant content is both deceptive and anti-consumer.