Yelp offers up doublespeak about Google


In its filing for an initial public stock offering on Thursday, Yelp filled up its “risk factors” section with Google-related words of caution.

Most of the warnings pertain to how much Yelp relies on Google for its business.

"Google in particular is the most significant source of traffic to our website," Yelp said. "If our website fails to rank prominently in unpaid search results, traffic to our website could decline."

Got it. So Yelp relies on Google. Okay.

But later in that paragraph…

“Google has removed links to our website from portions of its web search product, and has promoted its own competing products, including Google’s local products, in its search results.”

Yikes! Why would Google do that? That can’t be good news for Yelp.

Oh, wait, Yelp asked Google to do that.

Later in the filing…

“In parts of 2010 and 2011, Google incorporated content from our website into its own local product without our permission. While we do not believe that Google is still incorporating our content within its local products, we have no assurance that Google or other companies will not copy, publish or aggregate content from our platform in the future.”

We get it, Yelp. Google is good for business and bad for business. It’s the devil you’ve got to deal with in the Internet game. But stop pretending that the only risks to your business are Google’s own doing. -David