Consumer Survey: Google Leads Yelp As Most Important Review Site avatar
Consumer Survey: Google Leads Yelp As Most Important Review Site

As part of a larger study, we surveyed 545 people across the U.S. to better understand consumer preferences about which online review sites were most important to their purchase decisions, in addition to overall how important online reviews were to them.

We sliced the survey data by gender and age to gain more insights.

Summary Of The Findings

  • For both men and women, Google was the leading review site by a significant margin
  • 30%  more women than men rated reviews online as important to their purchase decision
  • Women were 50% more likely than men to rate Yelp as an important review site
  • Men were 50% more likely to state that they don’t read online reviews compared to women (and it was the 2nd most common option for men)
  • The percentage of the population that don’t read reviews increased consistently with age
  • Yelp as a review site is clearly more popular with younger age demographics
  • Facebook is not a popular review site among consumers


Interpretation Of The Findings

I was somewhat surprised that consumers rated Google so much more important as a review site influencing their purchase decision as compared to Yelp and Facebook.  I believe this could be attributed to the fact that many consumers begin their research for a product or service, or their investigation of a particular brand or company, with a Google search. Google publishes review ratings right in its SERPs (search engine results page) when consumers search so they can clearly scan review ratings right there.

google search results page with review ratings
Google searchengine results page (SERP) with review ratings

Women as a group were also more involved with online reviews versus men. But I believe this can be partially explained because women as a group are responsible for more of the day-to-day purchase decisions compared to men. Especially when it comes to decisions that impact their family, children, or health issues, women will do more research to ensure the best decision is made.

Not too surprising, Yelp is primarily more popular with younger demographics because of mobile devices – you have to have the app and be a little more technically savvy to search for the app, download it, install it on your phone, login, and then leave a review .

And no surprise that the older you get, the more likely consumers were to state that they did not read online reviews.

The Survey Questions

We limited the options for which review sites were most important to the following 5 choices:

  • Google
  • Yelp
  • Facebook
  • I Don’t Read Online Reviews
  • Other (which people could leave their own response)
Which review site is most important to you?
Which review site is most important to you?

We used a 5 point scale when asking how important online reviews were to the purchase decision.

How important are online reviews to your purchase?
How important are online reviews to your purchase?

Google chosen as the most important review site for purchase decisions.

After Google, the second most common option was “I don’t read reviews,” followed then by Yelp, and finally as a distant fourth place was Facebook reviews.

survey results-which review site most important
Survey results – which review site most important?

Although both females and males rated Google the most important review site, females chose Yelp much more often than men did as an important review site option.

Female online review survey results
Female online review survey results
Male online review survey results
Male online review survey results

Percentage of People That Don’t Read Online Reviews Increased With Age

Not surprisingly, but as age increased so did the number of people that did not read online reviews.

Percentage of people that don't read online reviews by age bracket
Percentage of people that don’t read online reviews by age bracket.

Percentage of Males versus Females That Don’t Read Online Reviews

A far greater percentage of males versus females do not read online reviews.

Males vs females that don't read online reviews
Males vs females that don’t read online reviews

Yelp A Much More Popular Choice Among Females

We pulled Yelp alone to look at gender and age differences among consumers.

Yelp revives: females vs males
Percentage of females vs males that chose Yelp as a review platform

Yelp More Popular With Younger Age Groups

Yelp reviews by age bracket
Online reviews from Yelp more important for younger demographics

Females rated online reviews as Very Important to Somewhat Important at a much higher percentage than males did.

How important online reviews, male vs female
How important online reviews, male vs female

So I hope this was helpful information for you. Reviews are very important – consumers read them and a negative review corpus will definitely hurt lead generation efforts.

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