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Yelp – Google face-off

Ruben Quinones December 23, 2009 Category Digital Marketing

Did Yelp Do The Right Thing?

Last week was feverish, to say the least. Google has been turned down from an advanced negotiation with Yelp.com, which had apparently walked away from the $550 million deal – a gutsy move, I must admit.

Yelp decided to stay off Google — the Online Search and Advertising behemoth — and although it is surprising, it is rebellious at its core. Yelp has mastered the dynamics of online local search and has earned a steady traffic flow of over 9 million unique visitors who are a lot more than casual surfers—they are passionate and yelp is actually a large community.

yelp

Yelp is profitable too.  With over $30 million in revenues as far as 2009 is concerned, estimated to reach the $50 million mark in 2010, there can be no doubt that yelp has a long way to go. Along the way, it’s bubbling and effervescent community posting news and information about local businesses should help fuel its journey. All the while yelp was growing, it really had no big competitors.   By that time even behemoths like Google could retort with Google Maps, Place Pages and Favorite Places, it was too late.  Yahoo apparently answered with Yahoo Neighbors, which is still relatively unknown.

So was yelp’s decision Justified? Absolutely! Yelp could go a long way with its strong community, ever growing revenues and its slowly, but surely spreading online brand presence. It shouldn’t let itself to Google or any other company since it might very stand a chance to be just as big.

Google, once upon a time, was an upstart too, wasn’t it?  It had its chance.   Now, it’s Yelp’s turn.  What do you think? Will it make it big?  Was it a dumb decision not to ride the horse with Google?

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