Update: Matt Mcgee informs me that this is way old news. Still interesting though.
First CityGrid and now Yahoo!? What’s Yelp up to?
Upon further exploration, I found similar links on every business profile page I checked. And if you search Google, you can find millions of Yelp URLs with these links.
I then did a similar query to find Yelp links on Yahoo and found several hundred thousand (hey Yelp! you might want to give Yahoo! some tips on bot accessibility) like this one:
It’s not unusual for sites to link to other sites as additional resources for users (isn’t that what Yahoo! used to do for a living?), but seems like more than just a coincidence that they both are only linking to each other and they are using perfectly targeted anchor text in the links.
If I didn’t know better I would swear that Yelp! and Yahoo! are participating in what Google would call a “link scheme”:
Examples of link schemes can include:
- Links intended to manipulate PageRank
- Links to web spammers or bad neighborhoods on the web
- Excessive reciprocal links or excessive link exchanging (“Link to me and I’ll link to you.”)
Now I don’t want to suggest that Yelp! & Yahoo! are trying to manipulate PageRank and I’ll leave it to you to decide whether or not either of them is linking to a bad neighborhood, but these links certainly seem excessive.
Hey Matt Cutts, how about a ruling on this one?