Yelp’s Traffic & Review Count Have Doubled in the Past 18 Months

Filed in Local Search, Statistics by Matt McGee on August 1, 2012 7 Comments

yelp-100Yelp announced its latest quarterly earnings today, but rather than the financials, these are the numbers that caught my eye:

  • Cumulative reviews grew 54% year over year to more than 30 million
  • Average monthly unique visitors grew 52% year over year to more than 78 million

Both of those numbers are about double what they were 18 months ago, at the end of 2010. At that time, Yelp announced that it had about 15 million reviews and monthly traffic of about 41 million uniques.

I still generally believe that overall review counts are meaningless, but I do think this bears watching in light of Google’s risky switch to the Zagat ratings/reviews system. I’m curious to see how that will play out, and if the switch will hurt Google in the long run, while helping competitors like Yelp that are sticking with the familiar 5-star system.

Comments (7)

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  1. Matt:

    I’ve commented on your blog before on a post that you did about whether or not Google’s move to a more complex Zagat rating system will harm or hurt Google. I’ll repeat it here. There is no way the Zagat system works in the long run. If I’m wrong, I’ll eat crow. Your average customer is not going to take the time to go through a complex review process – especially if their experience was positive. Getting customers to leave positive reviews for businesses is like pulling teeth to begin with. There is a reason sites like Amazon and eBay (and Yelp) have a simple star rating system!

    Travis Van Slooten

  2. I agree with Travis. Not quite as spectacular as the New Coke re-brand fail, but a fail none the less. Yelps win here indicates a Google lose, IMO.
    My clients report that the stars are very helpful, not sure on the numbers, but I bet if there are enough to indicate a consensus, then volume is meaningful.

  3. Robinsh says:

    I wish to own a company like that someday showing the results every quarter and bloggers covering the same to inform my future investors and users.

    Thanks for this report, it gave me an idea that can be applied at my online businesses to see some growth no of course not like the Yelp shows :)

  4. Gary says:

    I can bet that this is due to the iPhone and Siri. They are directly connected. I use Siri and Yelp all of the time. Actually, I had never done a review on Yelp until I got Siri.

  5. Jonathon says:

    That’s interesting. Wish we knew how much of the traffic was organic and how much is direct. In my area, Tripadvisor far ouranks Yelp for individual restaurant searches. Yelp may get a lot of reviews but there are other review sites that rank better.

    • Matt McGee says:

      Very interesting, Jonathon – thx for the comment. In my area, or perhaps just in the searches that I do, I rarely see TripAdvisor ranking highly. But I do see Yelp regularly.

  6. Trish says:

    I’ve found Yelp to be helpful… I’ve found places using Yelp that I didn’t even know existed in my area. One thing about Yelp compared to Chowhound. Yelp seems to have many more active members which results in a broader coverage of restaurants.

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