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Bing Giving More Prominence to Local Review Site Ratings

By Justin Seibert| 3 Min Read | May 3, 2011

I really wasn’t looking to do a second post today, but saw something on a bing search that caught my eye: they’re now putting logos for various review sites along with a more prominent rating grade on the sides.

And it’s not just on branded searches – it can be for any specific company rating on an outside review site that shows up in their listings, such as for this non-branded search on “tuxedos Lexington.”

I can’t say definitively that these haven’t been here before as I couldn’t find any announcement about this, but I checked around the office and we don’t remember seeing them.  The ones they’re pulling from include Yelp, Citysearch, and Yahoo! Local.  We’re not seeing it for other ones like Insider Pages, at least so far. If you want to sniff around and find others they are or are not using these logos for, add it to the comments and I’ll update this post.

What’s really interesting about this is that bing had been seemingly backing away from giving ratings prominence.  For one, users haven’t been able to write reviews directly on bing local listings for about two months now.  For another, they’ve removed star ratings from many local results that they list on the Web results tab (although they’re still in full effect on the local tab).  On that note, I did find some more examples of them including stars on the Web results tab, though they’re still very much far and in between:

The Bottom Line for Local Businesses

So what’s this mean?  While I’m not sure if this is a test or a “permanent” change, it does indicate bing’s getting more serious once again about providing user ratings to its searchers.  And with the logos and giant numbers, it makes listings stand out even more to searchers.  It will also surely make their partners like Yelp happy as it should lead to higher click-throughs straight to their listing pages.

Note Bene: My Brave New Local / Social World: Recent Changes to Local & Review Sites and their Effect on Online Reputation Management presentation will be running once again with Online Marketing Connect next week as part of their Search Week.  Registration is free – just click that link.  The reason I bring it up here is that it’s a pre-recorded presentation, so there’s no mention of anything in this post.  Don’t think I’m the Absent Minded SEO or anything – just can’t go back in time.

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