Google to buy Yelp for $500 million

Google is currently in negotiations with Yelp to acquire the company for $500 million. The deal has yet to be finalized, but as sources confirm, the deal is 80% likely to go through.

Yelp is a website that allows members to review local businesses from local nightlife, shopping centers to restaurants and religious organizations. Users can submit reviews and ratings on their experience for other curious shoppers to see. Yelp is available in The United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, which offers location services to find places near you.

Yelp was founded in 2004 and quickly grew to 9 million unique visitors a month, according to Comscore, but Yelp claims that the numbers are around 25 million unique visitors a month.

If and when the deal goes through, Google will likely combine the review website and its Google Map services together. Google is said to be building the local businesses reviews into its Maps and its local search.

Google is already building their local business index, but since Yelp already has all of this information Google could easily integrate all of this information right into its search engine and directory.

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can anyone see how this is a bad idea? Google makes their money from advertisements. why would a company pay Google to give them bad press via yelp if they are also paying Google to place ads all over their websites? can Google be trusted NOT to mess with yelp reviews to help their paying customers? i hope so. is Google going to kill yelp because of bad press to company's that are paying them?

LincKraker said,
can anyone see how this is a bad idea?
uh, yeah.. not to mention that its generally bad when behemoths like google just start buying up every company on the planet for $500MM at a time. Everybody hated Microsoft for this and now I would bet almost nobody views Microsoft as a threat anymore, Google is the new monopoly to be very wary of in this century. The Interview with Eric Schmidt was an eye opener and quite scary.

My friend owns a restaurant. Apparently he got a bad review (he didn't even know what Yelp was) and had someone that said they were from Yelp call him. The guy told him they could "take care" of the review and future ones for a monthly fee. I haven't used Yelp since.

Its amazing really that civilisation has survived. Whenever there is something that might actually benefit people then you always get someone who finds a way to exploit it.

Ironman273 said,
My friend owns a restaurant. Apparently he got a bad review (he didn't even know what Yelp was) and had someone that said they were from Yelp call him. The guy told him they could "take care" of the review and future ones for a monthly fee. I haven't used Yelp since.

How do we know it was Yelp that called? It could have just as easily been the guy who wrote the bad review in the first place, sounds like a good scam...

Orange Battery said,
Its amazing really that civilisation has survived. Whenever there is something that might actually benefit people then you always get someone who finds a way to exploit it.

Wherever there's stupid people, they'll always be someone their willing to exploit them.

Ironman273 said,
My friend owns a restaurant. Apparently he got a bad review (he didn't even know what Yelp was) and had someone that said they were from Yelp call him. The guy told him they could "take care" of the review and future ones for a monthly fee. I haven't used Yelp since.

Interesting. I wonder if that truly was Yelp or something else. A lot of organizations like this offer services like that, but generally for the fee allow the company to dispute it and if they deem it to be a good explanation, etc. they'll remove it. They don't generally just remove it if you pay a fee...

I think public feedback on products and services will be big in the future. Google could have started from scratch but with Yelp's user base they instantly become a big player and thats important in this area. Probably a good business decision.

Orange Battery said,
I think public feedback on products and services will be big in the future. Google could have started from scratch but with Yelp's user base they instantly become a big player and thats important in this area. Probably a good business decision.

I agree. It puts them well ahead of where they would have been if they were building this on their own. Worth the money I think.

From time to time, in order to improve Google Gulp's usefulness for our users, Google Gulp will send packets of data related to your usage of this product from a wireless transmitter embedded in the base of your Google Gulp bottle to the GulpPlexâ„¢

Although intended in good humour, this I could believe.

peterish said,
Pretty cool. I just hope Google leaves all the current reviews untouched.

Yeah, I agree. But what value would it really have if they didn't carry over the reviews? It really wouldn't make sense not to...