If Google (GOOG) really wants to buy Yelp for $500 million, it could mean hard times for AOL’s (AOL) new local play Patch and IAC’s (IACI) CitySearch.
Earlier this year, Google got serious about pushing aggregators down in its search results pages in favour of pushing source material up.
The logic was that it doesn’t best serve users for Google’s search results pages to send them on to more results pages.
One Web property that took this decision directly on the nose was AOL video search engine Truveo, which links to a lot of YouTube videos Google can just as easily link to itself.
Check out Truveo’s traffic after May 2009:
If Google acquires Yelp, it would likely begin to suck in Yelp’s actual search results into Google search and link to those results instead of Yelp search results pages. Google links directly to YouTube videos and not YouTube search results pages, afterall.
No longer linking to Yelp search results pages on queries like “Brooklyn Coffee,” we’re sure Google would drop links to CitySearch and Patch search results pages, too.
Conveniently, this would be a move Google could (accurately, we think) label “user-friendly.” Again, nobody wants to go to a search results page from a search results page.
(By the way, we know Patch produces lots of original “source” material, but all Patches also depend on local restaurant search engines, business directories, and classifieds, too.)
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