Solo practitioner listings on Yelp/Yahoo/Bing

Creativedge

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The advice I've repeatedly seen on setting up solo practitioner listings on Google is to use the [practice name]: [practitioner name] format.

What I'd like to know is, does anyone know what to do with Yelp?

The format used on Yelp appears to influence how the business is listed on Yahoo and Bing as well (even when the Bing Places listing is claimed and managed) and I've found it frustrating that Yelp keeps changing how they handle these listings.

Previously I was informed by Yelp support that the practice and practitioner had to have individual listings. In these case, we would focus on getting reviews on the listing for the practice itself.

Recently, however, I've seen that they've started changing the practitioner listings to a different format: [practitioner name] - [practice name].

I'm assuming that, because this is more similar to GMB's format, we've been seeing the practitioner listings now outranking the practice listings in search...so the listings with the reviews aren't the ones showing up.

So I was wondering how other people have been handling these.
 

Linda Buquet

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I'm unsure about the others, but anything you do on those could affect GMB citations if they are different.

On GMB you don't [typically] want practitioner listings because they will often outrank/displace the practice listing and split up reviews. However if you do a bunch of citations for the Drs on those other directories, Google is sure to pick them up and create a listing. Then you often end up having to deal with the practice listing getting filtered.

The name options you listed above aren't kosher with Google. With Google you can only have name listed as Practice Name: Dr Name if it's a solo practitioner. Multiple practitioners should only be listed as name/designation. John Smith DDS, etc.

Here are posts that will help but in general, my feeling is you need to do GMB the best possible way, then keep NAP consistent across other directories. And like I said, in general I would not typically list all the practitioners. (But there are exceptions.)

These posts should help:

Best Practices for Practitioner Listings on Google My Business (GMB) - Whitespark

How-to Handle Practitioner Listings in Google My Business (GMB) and Your Citations - Whitespark

Why you cannot ignore practitioner listings on Google My Business (case study) - Search Engine Land
 

Creativedge

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Thanks, Linda.

To clarify, here's one of our clients. He's the only dentist in the office, so we've set his GMB listing up like this:

Screen Shot 2018-04-02 at 10.23.23 AM.png

Yelp will not allow this format on their listing for the practice, so it only has the practice name.

Screen Shot 2018-04-02 at 10.23.55 AM.png


The problem we're having now is that Yelp not only insists on creating listings for the doctors, they've started adding in the practice name automatically. In Dr. Levine's case, Yelp has automatically generated a page that looks like this:

Screen Shot 2018-04-02 at 10.24.03 AM.png

...and this is the problem I'm referring to. As you can see, this new listing tends to come up as a closer match for the GMB listing.

So this was what I was asking about.

Should I advise our clients to have the practitioner listing removed? (Yelp requires a written request from the doctor in this instance).
 

Linda Buquet

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The advice I've repeatedly seen on setting up solo practitioner listings on Google is to use the [practice name]: [practitioner name] format.
Sorry missed the word solo on your original post. Thanks the examples and screenshots helped make sure we are on the same page.

1) Google is pretty good about matching things up these days so NAP/citation wise those should be fine.

2) There is the potential it would cause Google to add a practitioner listing, which could displace your main listing. However, there are so many other directories that have just Dr Levine listed, that it likely would not make that much difference.

Let's see what Colan and Joy or others think?
 

JoshuaMackens

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Yeah, I'd say just get rid of it.

Or change the Yelp listing with reviews to match the name of the GMB listing.

I only skimmed your full explanation so maybe I'm missing something, but is that a possibility for you guys?

That would match up the NAP for Google and you could tell Yelp it's a duplicate and they would more than likely merge it.

It would also change it on Yahoo as you mentioned.
 

JoyHawkins

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Taken from this article I wrote a while ago:

Yelp, for example, has told me that they don’t automatically merge listings for a solo practitioner but if requested, they will consolidate the 2 listings (and merge the reviews) but they use a format that is the opposite of what Google uses. So while Google lists it as “ABC Law Firm: Bob Smith”, Yelp will list it as “Bob Smith – ABC Law Firm”. I don’t think this is a huge issue considering Google’s ability to normalize data.
 

Creativedge

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Yeah, I'd say just get rid of it.

Or change the Yelp listing with reviews to match the name of the GMB listing.

I only skimmed your full explanation so maybe I'm missing something, but is that a possibility for you guys?

That would match up the NAP for Google and you could tell Yelp it's a duplicate and they would more than likely merge it.

It would also change it on Yahoo as you mentioned.
As Joy points out below, Yelp refuses to use Google's naming format, so it's not possible to make them match.

One of our clients submitted the request to have them merge the practice and practitioner listings...but they removed the practitioner's name entirely from the site. It's one of the things that makes me nervous about having the listings merged.

(Yelp can be difficult to work with on these things... I have a hard time convincing them that General Dentists aren't allowed to call themselves Periodontists or Endodontists.)

Taken from this article I wrote a while ago:

Yelp, for example, has told me that they don’t automatically merge listings for a solo practitioner but if requested, they will consolidate the 2 listings (and merge the reviews) but they use a format that is the opposite of what Google uses. So while Google lists it as “ABC Law Firm: Bob Smith”, Yelp will list it as “Bob Smith – ABC Law Firm”. I don’t think this is a huge issue considering Google’s ability to normalize data.
Thanks! I remember reading the article a while back, but I didn't remember it mentioning the Yelp situation.
 

JoshuaMackens

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As Joy points out below, Yelp refuses to use Google's naming format, so it's not possible to make them match.

One of our clients submitted the request to have them merge the practice and practitioner listings...but they removed the practitioner's name entirely from the site. It's one of the things that makes me nervous about having the listings merged.

(Yelp can be difficult to work with on these things... I have a hard time convincing them that General Dentists aren't allowed to call themselves Periodontists or Endodontists.)
I meant just get close as possible. Since Google normalizes data (as Joy mentioned) your biggest issue is the dupe for ranking purposes and that would allow you to remove that. Or you could request them to just merge them together when you explain the situation. However, in my experience with Yelp, it's much quicker to ask them to do a basic merge that makes sense to them, which this one would considering the naming convention.

Good luck!
 

Creativedge

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Just thought I'd post a follow up to this. I was conversing with Yelp support and they're now telling me that, if the listings are merged, they will remove the doctor's name entirely. So, now the options are:

Two separate listings, named:
[Practice Name]
[Dentist Name] - [Practice Name]



Or one merged listing, named:
[Practice Name]


I feel like they keep changing their policy on this and it's rather frustrating.
 

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