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Yellow Pages on steroids

Yellow Pages on steroids

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Yelp is an enhanced, online business director that is visited by 50 million people monthly in eight cities in North American and Europe, thanks to 17 million user-generated reviews of the businesses that are voluntarily contributed to the site.

David Scheine, Director of European Operations, Yelp

Those reviews are the key to success of Yelp.  "What we found is, people write lots," says David Scheine, Director of European Operations. "It's unusual for people to write one or two reviews. They write dozens, sometimes hundreds, and here in London, literally thousands of reviews."

Since those reviews count for so much, and most come from a relatively small number of people, Yelp takes care of the most frequent contributors, by providing them with regular events and parties.  "What really works is our focus on community," he says.

Though Yelp is in the midst of international expansion, the site operates locally, on a city by city basis. "Reviews don't work unless you have good content and a deep level of reviews," says Mr Scheine. "When we started in 2004 in San Francisco, our goal was to be the best review site in San Francisco."

That model has been duplicated in seven other cities, with more to come. Yelp makes money through advertising – enhanced listings, search and coupons – but currently only the North American platforms are monetized, with Europe advertising to begin later this year.


Larry Kilman's picture

Larry Kilman


2011-04-11 17:01

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Here are the summaries of all speaker presentations at Digital Media Europe, that was held in London from 11-13 April 2011. Read more ...

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