Apple has begun to sever it's relationship with Google Maps by announcing their own "Apple Maps" to be released on iOS 6 devices. Included in this move, no more Google Local business listings showing up on iPhones and iPads. What will replace? It is looking like Yelp.
The relationship with Apple now makes Yelp the second most important place on the web to have positive reviews from customers.
Screenshots from Greg Sterlings article on the subject show what these "Apple Map Location Profiles" may look like:
Google+ Local is still a great place to have positive reviews, but today Yelp is a second. Yelp's influence appears to only be looking up over the next year and beyond.
If you haven't claimed your Yelp listing, wait no longer. If you are not referring people to review you on Yelp, what are you waiting for? This San Diego golf course has been doing so through the footer of their website for some time, setting them up with some sweet reviews, and positioning them perfectly for the iOS 6 "Apple Maps" launch. They are a prime example of how to get ahead of the pack within Yelp.
Of course, Yelp isn't a panacea. Yelp is simply a tool, and it all depends on how you use it. Positive online reviews begin with an excellent service, product, or experience. Once you've got that down (easier said than done!), think about claiming your listing, populating it with excellent content and photography, and adding a Yelp logo to your website.
To get you started, here is a Yelp image you can use on your website, with transparent background so it will look good on dark or light backgrounds.