Yelp’s Dramatic Growth in 2009

Filed in Local Search by Matt McGee on January 9, 2010 4 Comments

yelp-logoTri-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.

Comments (4)

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  1. David says:

    It’s interesting to see that Yelp gets more reviews on the local business entries than their counterparts on Google local. In France, the equivalent to Yelp is It doesn’t cover all subjects but mainly leisure and going out but it does attract a fair amount of user reviews and the site is very popular. Thanks for the info

  2. Jason Hyman says:

    what factor do you think the mobile app for Yelp has played in its growth and number of reviews? I know my thoughts but am curious about yours.

    • Matt McGee says:

      Jason – I haven’t seen any stats for usage/downloads of Yelp’s mobile apps, have you? I suspect it’s pretty high, but don’t have any evidence one way or another.

  3. Robert Dall says:

    Over a year later my Yelp posting continues to be the most popular post and continues to get monthly comments. I have really moved on, but web stats don’t lie. Their are a lot of people completely pissed with Yelp and they continue to voice their opinion. If anything people still post their complaints to my coffee related blog on a regular basis.

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