Yelp recently penalized companies for the first time after it caught eight companies buying positive reviews.

Yelp recently announced that it has surpassed 78 million users, and small businesses can leverage the platform’s growth by encouraging satisfied customers to post on the site. While Yelp doesn’t fit into any content or social media marketing strategy an SMB can launch on its own, it demonstrates the growing value of information on the web, especially as it relates to consumer purchases.

Small businesses can link to their Yelp pages on other social networks to urge fans and followers to leave reviews. Moreover, ensuring that information about a company on the site is accurate can make it easier for consumers to find and buy from the business.

“By focusing almost singularly on cultivating rich, authentic local content, we have created a unique platform that is rapidly becoming the de facto local search engine for connecting consumers with great local business,” Jeremy Stoppelman, CEO of Yelp, said in a release.

Additionally, Yelp’s appeal to users has grown to the point where Bing recently purchased the user-generated review network to make it a local search hub. As Bing develops new ways to integrate Yelp data into SERPs, a presence on the network will grow even more critical for SMBs.

ContentLEAD highlighted Bing’s partnership with Yelp recently, reporting that consumer reviews and other local business data will soon be a part of local Bing SERPs.