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February 11, 2009

David Lazarus - LATimes

A recent opinion piece in the LA Times asks the legitimate question does Yelp provide enough disclosure when showing advertisements? Rather than biasing you with my own opinion, why don't you take a quick look and see for yourself. Below are screen shots from websites across the industry all performing the same search. You can click on any of the screen shots to see the page up close.

Here is a Google search for "lawyers". They have a tan background and the word "sponsored link" on the right. You can't click on the disclosure for more info, it's just text in light grey.


Google.com


Below you'll see a YellowPages.com (AT&T) search for "lawyer". I wasn't able to find any disclosures and it looks like all the top results are advertisers.


YellowPages.com  


Only one more, bear with me! An AOL search for "lawyer"... they have a very light blue background color behind their ads and they provide a "Sponsored Links" disclosure on the upper right. The disclosure links to an FAQ page.


Aol 


And the big finale... a Yelp search for "lawyers". The single advertisement on top is colored with a strong tan background (similar to Google, but actually darker). We also have a "Sponsored Result" disclosure and if you put your mouse over it you'll get a helpful pop-up that explains this is a paid placement.


Yelpdisc  

So what do you think? Let us know.