What’s In the Yelp Advertiser Contract?

Filed in Local Search by Matt McGee on February 20, 2012 3 Comments

yelp-logoI’ve written before about Yelp advertising, but not to the depth that Rocky Agrawal has been writing about it in recent days. And most of what he’s writing isn’t positive.

I don’t quite know why Agrawal has written so much about Yelp ads in recent days, but in the name of informing small business owners who read this space, here are the relevant links:

I’m not going to bother taking sides or even offering an opinion on the pros and cons of advertising on Yelp (like any ad product, I’d assume some advertisers do well and others do not), but the links and information are interesting, especially to anyone that’s thinking about advertising on Yelp.

Comments (3)

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  1. Rocky says:

    My reason: just trying to inform users, small businesses and investors.

    Although I can find the good in many things (even Groupon and LivingSocial, against whom I’ve railed constantly), at Yelp’s prices I can’t think of any situation or verticals where I would recommend Yelp.

    If you’re in the Bay Are, would love to get together sometime.

  2. Matt McGee says:

    Thanks Rocky. I’d normally be down there for our SMX West show next week, but can’t make it this year due to other commitments. Hopefully next time. And if you’re ever up here in eastern Washington, drop me a note. :-)

  3. Matt, great job aggregating Rocky’s work. Though I have enjoyed using Yelp in recent years and want it to succeed (providing it continues to provide value to end-users), I think they are in a paradoxical advertising situation:
    1. The best vendors don’t need to advertise, as their favorable reviews sell their services better than any ad possibly could
    2. The worst vendors that choose to advertise may hurt the overall perception of Yelp ads (e.g. if they need to advertise on Yelp, their reviews and services must be poor)
    3. If Yelp’s advertising value proposition is based largely on impressions, how much longer will it take for a majority of small businesses to learn how to get massive amounts of free targeted impressions from Google’s Display Network (and cost-effective clicks, if managed properly)?
    Also, the owners of the best rated businesses tend to be “smarter than the average bear” and are often put off by Yelp’s heavy handed sales practices. At a minimum, Yelp will need to offer cost-effective ad services to top-tier businesses that provide value to end-users (e.g. time-sensitive offers).

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