Tri-Cities, Washington — where I live — is generally about two years behind the rest of the country when it comes to adopting whatever’s hot. I know this from spending close to 10 years as a web designer and marketer in this area, and from living here for more than 15 years.
So it wasn’t much of a surprise a couple months ago when I noticed that local businesses were really getting a lot of reviews on Yelp. After all, the rest of the country started noticing Yelp in 2007, so of course Tri-Citians would adopt it in droves by 2009. Have a look at the number of reviews these Richland restaurants have right now:
That won’t seem like much to those of you in big cities, but it’s a lot for our area — and it’s a sure sign of Yelp’s dramatic growth.
If it’s actual numbers you want, Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman shared some Friday on the Yelp blog:
- 26 million unique visitors in December 2009, up 60% from 16 million unique visitors in December 2008
- more than 8 million reviews posted worldwide
Impressive numbers, to say the least. And as Yelp continues to reach into smaller communities (like mine) across the U.S., it becomes an even more important player in local search and a must-use tool for small/local business owners.
And while I’m on the subject of Yelp, don’t miss David Mihm’s Yelp Comes of Age for more about how Yelp has grown and where the company is today.