Averaging 132 million visitors in the first three months of 2014, Yelp is a site whose reviews largely influence customer decisions. By allowing users to rate and submit reviews on local businesses, Yelp creates an environment where highly-rated businesses prosper and poorly-rated businesses falter. For this reason, it is critical that you manage your Yelp reviews.

A recent Nielsen study – which compared TripAdvisor, Angie’s List, Citysearch and YP.com – suggests that of these review sites, Yelp has the highest quality reviews and is the most frequently used, most influential, and most trustworthy.

The study polled more than 1,000 U.S. adults and aimed to answer: How does Yelp compare to other online review sites? The infographic below, courtesy of Yelp, highlights the results of the study.

Yelp's Importance

Although this study notes the undeniable importance of managing your Yelp reviews, it should be noted that it did not include Google+ and Facebook. As local industry expert Greg Sterling mentioned in his review of this study, a survey (n=1,002) by Mike Blumenthal showed Google and Facebook as a more frequent response to the question: “When you leave a review online for a local business which sites are you likely to use?”

Mike Blumenthal

So, while Yelp shined in the presence of other dedicated review sites in the Nielsen survey, it would be interesting to see how it fared if Google+ and Facebook were incorporated. Regardless, Yelp is absolutely essential to your local business’ online presence, as is Google+ and Facebook. While the internet is flooded with review sites and business listings, Google+, Facebook and Yelp should receive the vast majority of your attention.