2018 Trend to Watch – Yelp’s Influence in Restaurant Discovery

"Leadership is influence."

- John C . Maxell.

Who dominates Google search for Seattle restaurants?

When it comes to local search, you will find that Google Places has taken over the top organic results of its own search engine.   In fact, the top third page of almost any search related to Seattle restaurants on Google will return the company's own directory content and customer reviews.

Yelp remains a strong second on Google for restaurant related searches.  Both general and specific businesses name searches return Yelp results highly on Google.  These factors combined with strong consumer awareness and loyalty means Yelp will continue to carry influence with diners and guests in 2018.

Click to enlarge. Check out Yelp Trends for that restaurant you used to love. Are people still crazy about it or has it fallen off the edge?

In 2014, Yelp introduced Yelp Trends, a feature that adventurous, curious, investigative diners should appreciate greatly.  It's a historical trend of average customer review ratings.  The graph shows the average review score by month over time with some restaurants having years of past data.  The graphs can tell a story.

To see the graph for that place you used to love (or hate), click on the 'details' button of its Yelp business listing.


Seattle's Most Expensive Restaurant Shows Strong Performance

Here is an example of Yelp Trends showing improved performance and guest satisfaction.  This graph is for one of the Pacific Northwest's most esteemed restaurants, Canlis, serving the community in Seattle since 1950.  And yes, even the best restaurants sometimes get one-star ratings; you can die trying, but you can't please all the people all the time.

Canlis delighted diners in 2017 according to this Yelp Trends Graph.


These are the most influential online restaurant discovery platforms for US market in 2018. 

The following platforms control national collections of business and customer data, which they package in different ways to fulfill a need and generate revenue.  They dominate the online arena of local business discovery for ravenous diners through their websites and mobile applications.

    1. Google Places
    2. Yelp
    3. Facebook
    4. Instagram
    5. Eater
    6. Trip Advisor
    7. The Infatuation
    8. Thrill List
    9. Opentable
    10. Zomato
    11. Zagat
    12. Groupon
    13. Online Delivery Services have varying degrees of features and influence in restaurant discovery:  Uber Eats, TryCaviar, GrubHub, DoorDash, Postmates, Amazon, Seamless, Peach.
What are your favorite restaurant discovery methods?  Please comment here.

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