• Citysearch Vs. Yelp On The iPhone: Can You Tell Them Apart?

    Citysearch now has an iPhone app. It looks a lot like Yelp’s iPhone app, which came out two months ago looks and is currently the third most popular travel app (after Urbanspoon and Google Earth). Both tap into the iPhone’s GPS to let you find nearby restaurants, bars, clubs, hotels, and stores. Both let you rate and review the places you visit. Both even share the exact… Read More

  • Yelp Throws Down On CitySearch

    Local review site Yelp is not going to sit around and let competitor CitySearch have even a day to celebrate their new beta launch. CEO Jeremy Stopellman, noticing our Comscore comparison of the services – “According to comScore, Citysearch brought in 14.6 million unique visitors in the U.S in October, compared to 143 million uniques across its ad network. (Yelp, by the way, did… Read More

  • Yahoo Turns Yelp, Yahoo Local and LinkedIn SearchMonkey Apps On In Search

    Yahoo is making a number of changes to its default search experience tonight to add more structured data to results. Yelp, Yahoo Local and LinkedIn SearchMonkey widgets are being added to search results automatically, eliminating the need for users to go into the search gallery and add them manually. SearchMonkey is a key part of Yahoo’s attempts to embrace the semantic web and open… Read More

  • Angry Businesses Organize Anti-Yelp Websites. This Is A Sure Sign Of Their Success.

    Yelp, a user-generated database of customer reviews of local businesses, first launched in October 2004. Users rate and leave reviews for local businesses, participate in forums, and can generally get social around local businesses. Yelp almost immediately caught on organically in San Francisco, but founders Jeremy Stoppelman and Russel Simmons ran into some early criticism. Rumors circulated… Read More

  • Center'd, Née FatDoor, Relaunches As A Local Search/Event Planning Site

    If Yahoo Local were a standalone startup, it might look like Center’d. Partly that is because CEO Jennifer Dulski used to be the general manager in charge of Yahoo Local. Center’d, which publicly launches today, is a mixture of an event-planning/invitation site and a highly targeted local search engine, with a little social networking thrown in. The entire site is set up to do… Read More

  • Smalltown's WebCards: No Longer Just Hyper-Local

    Smalltown, a company out to help local businesses establish themselves online, is spreading its reach on the web and in the real world by founding a new site at We first reviewed Smalltown in October 2006 when it launched a destination site for so-called “WebCards”. These compact mini-sites provide overview information about businesses located in any of 6 Bay Area cities. Read More

  • Yelp Lets Businesses Fight Back

    Local businesses have a love/hate relationship with review site Yelp: The site sends new customer leads to the businesses reviewed. But businesses can also be reviewed (and trashed) without even knowing Yelp exists. Businesses like Oakland coffee shop Cafe Rooz felt slighted by the ratings site when a few vocal customers posted poor reviews. They went so far as to declare No Yelpers. But… Read More

  • Yelp Raises $15 Million Fourth Round, Rumored Valuation $200 Million

    Yelp, the popular local review site, will soon announce a new $15 million dollar round of financing led by DAG Ventures. The valuation is rumored to be in the $200 million range. Yelp says that they will be using the money to expand geographically, add onto their sales team, and establish an office in NYC (they are based in San Francisco). This is Yelp’s fourth round of funding since… Read More

  • GenieTown Launches To Tackle Local Services

    Palo Alto-based Genie Town launches this morning. They’re trying to crack the local services nut – a huge market, but one that a lot of the big guys are eyeing, too. The company says they are addressing the long tail of local services. The GenieTown site allows local service providers (plumbers, dentists, whatever) to put up a web presence. Users looking for providers can find… Read More

  • Meraki Networks Raises $20 Million, Expands Free WiFi in San Francisco, Where Google Failed

    The dream of free municipal WiFi refuses to die. Meraki Networks is picking up the ball that Google and Earthlink dropped, expanding its free WiFi network to cover all of San Francisco. The service will be ad-supported (ads appear in your toolbar when you are browsing through a Meraki WiFi router), and the build-out will be paid for out of a $20 million series B round the startup just… Read More

  • Trusted Opinion Takes $1.3 Million Series A

    Recommendation based social network Trusted Opinion has raised $1.3 million Series A, although the investors are not being disclosed (we did ask). Palo Alto based Trusted Opinion offers community based product ratings and recommendations in a social networking setting. The focus is on friends recommending things to friends, such as movies and DVD’s. The company added support for… Read More

  • Judy's Book To Shut Down. Yelp Is The Last of The Local Review Sites Still Standing.

    We just got word from Judy’s Book founder and CEO Andy Sacks that the Seattle startup will be shutting down operations, and most of the staff of twelve was let go today. The company had raised a total of $10.5 million over two rounds of financing. Judy’s Book started off as a community driven review site for local businesses, but changed it’s focus in 2006 when the… Read More

  • GarageSeek Rates Mechanics, But Yelp Will Kill This Category Too

    It seems like every time you turn around there’s another site out there trying to help you rate this, that, or the other thing. There’s Rapleaf (people), StreetAdvisor (neighborhood), YourStreet (neighborhood), SodaRatings (soda), and the list goes on (we wrote about Urbanspoon yesterday). Now there’s a new one in private beta, GarageSeek, for rating mechanic’s garages… Read More

  • Urbanspoon: Restaurant Reviews Coming To A City Near You

    Urbanspoon is a small Seattle startup that wants to help you find the perfect restaurant. Their goal: compete head on with Yelp and other user review sites, specifically around restaurants. But they are approaching the market in a different way than Yelp and others. Instead of talking users into coming to their site and writing reviews, they’re taking a decentralized approach and… Read More

  • Intuit Shuts Down Zipingo. Yelp Winning This Space Through Attrition

    Zipingo, the small business review site launched by Intuit in late 2005, shut down yesterday. When it launched, Zipingo competed with a slew of other startups that were targeting local business reviews. Of the three that we mentioned – Yelp, Judy’s Book and Insider Pages – only one, Yelp, remains in it’s original form. Judy’s Book changed its model to focus on… Read More

  • Yelp API Released

    Local review site Yelp quietly released an API today to allow third parties to access much of the content and features of the service. The API allows a number of input requests. Applications can retrieve business review and rating information for a particular geographic region/location, display reviews and pictures for a business or businesses, pull up business information based on a phone… Read More

  • Yelp Is Way Cooler Than I Thought

    Yelp, a user generated review site that continues to do very well with traffic growth, was still a bit boring in my opinion. Reviews of the local restaurants and flower shops are useful for some people, but it isn’t exactly as sexy as hanging out in MySpace. Perhaps I’m wrong though…some of the bored housewives in silicon valley may want to check out this review of… Read More

  • Yelp secures $10 million more for local reviews

    Local review site announced tonight that it has taken $10 million in Series B funding from Benchmark Capital. The company received as much as $6 million in a previous round from Bessemer Venture Partners. You can read our previous coverage of Yelp here. Other consumer web investments by Benchmark include Metacafe,, Rebtel, Bebo and Pageflakes. Yelp is reporting… Read More

  • Intuit's Zipingo Joins Local Business Review Sites

    Zipingo joins the ranks of local business review and ranking services such as Yelp, Judy’s Book (which just raised $8 million from Mobius Venture Capital, Ignition Partners and Ackerley Partners) and idealab’s Insider Pages. Like the other sites, Zipingo aims to pair yellow page-like contact information for local businesses with user reviews. It was created (and owned) by… Read More

  • Yelp's Local Reviews

    Company: Yelp
    Launched: in Beta (since late 2004)
    Location: San Francisco Yelp is a website that allows users to write and share reviews of local businesses. It also has social networking features (adding friends, groups, etc.) to share reviews with a trust network. The idea is that people generally trust their freinds’ recommendations. All of this user-generated content on local… Read More

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