Yelp is yelping foul on Google, joining a European Union complaint that the company is unfairly conducting business.
The complaint alleges the search engine company has been manipulating search results to place Google+ results ahead of content from Yelp, whether it's more helpful to users or not.
A study reveals Yelp has more reviews than Google+ and may also have more in-depth content that could be more useful to users. The research from Piper Jaffray states Google's content was ranked higher than content from Yelp, which the study found to provide more in-depth reviews, sources report.
CEO Jeremy Stoppelmann said he believes Google is attempting to stifle innovation to profit from its own lesser services. Yelp content, like the content from Google, is free to users. Reviewers, however, are forced to use text in their reviews. The Piper Jaffray study noted many of the Google+ reviews, Google Places and other content from the search engine provides much less information for the most part, and in many instances just a rating rather than an actual review.
One report, though, noted the study wasn't entirely straightforward because most of the results included Yelp. People not familiar with Yelp were not included in testing, but according to the source, users clicked on Yelp content 80 percent of the time regardless.
Yelp, which is based in San Fransisco, rakes in around $230 million versus the whopping $60 billion Google plows into its revenue streams.
Google has moved from search engine to content provider, with services ranging from music streaming to social media. Microsoft, as one source points out, is one of the larger corporations to reject the settlement deal Google is seeking. That involves some penalties, but the search company avoided paying a $5 billion fine or making any major changes to its products and services.
The EU antitrust commissioner, Joaquín Almunia, wants to seal the deal with Google before he leaves office in the fall, according to reports.
The reports indicate Google is even more dominant in Europe than it is in the U.S. Google controls 90 percent of the market for search in Europe.
Some believe the allegations could lead to more obstacles for Google, as regulators in the European Commission could re-evaluate the terms for Google's business abroad.
Yelp has based its business model on SEO, in which companies target search engine results such as those of Google. Yelp shares are trading at more than $70 and are up more than 100 percent from a year ago, one source noted.