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March 2014

March 31, 2014

Yelp Hackathon 13: Hacking and Unhacking from Hamburg to San Francisco

Hackathon has become a time-honored tradition here at Yelp, with engineers putting everyday responsibilities aside for 48 hours to work on any project that strikes their fancy. For the first time in Hackathon history we made it a global event, with engineers in Yelp’s Hamburg office joining in on the action for our recent Hackathon 13.

One SF-based mobile engineer even traveled to Germany to work with teammates based in Hamburg. The result of their project? Inventive use of hardware circuit boards and a realization that “beer is much better in Hamburg than in San Francisco.”

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Yelp engineers hacking away in our Hamburg office

Hackathon is truly a team effort, with everyone from interns to VPs working on projects to display at the big reveal. After lots of whiteboarding, secretive brainstorming, late night snacks, and one too many Red Bulls, tons of useful, funny and cool projects are unveiled, and the entire engineering team votes to declare winners in each category.

Some people stay business-minded with “unhacks” and set aside the time to do projects that have been on the backburner, like setting up an additional testing framework or running a backlog of code reviews. Others go the creative route. For Hackathon 13, one team imagined what a virtual reality experience may look like for Yelp Monocle. Prepare yourself...for the future.

Dying to get your hands dirty at a Yelp Hackathon? Check out the job openings posted at yelp.com/careers. Apply today, and you may be showing off your project at Yelp Hackathon 14.

March 18, 2014

Want More Customers? Try Yelp Ads

An average of 120 million unique visitors turn to Yelp each month to help them make a spending decision.* Since these consumers are already searching for a business with which to spend money, Yelp offers local businesses a wide range of advertising options that allow them to get in front of even more of these highly engaged Yelp users. In fact, a study done by The Boston Consulting Group last year found that Yelp advertisers generate average annual revenues of more than $23,000 from Yelp. With the average Yelp advertiser spending $4,200 annually, that’s a pretty impressive potential return on investment.

To meet the wide range of budgets and goals local business owners have, we offer an array of products that are tailored to fit everyone’s needs. While some might want the ease and convenience of subscription-based packages and the ability to talk things through with someone on the phone, others may want to manage their own budget. For that reason, we have a variety of advertising programs and products which include:

Flat-Rate Subscription Bundles:

(Guaranteed Ads + Profile Features + Account Management)

Offer targeted advertising via guaranteed impressions to increase a business' exposure when consumers on Yelp are searching for a related business. Businesses also get profile enhancements, including a photo slideshow, customized 60-second video and the Call to Action Button which helps to drive customers to the action the business values most (e.g. “schedule an appointment”). Businesses also get an account manager to help make the most of their ad program. A majority of our clients prefer this package because of its convenience and predictability.

Packaged CPC Bundles:

(Auction CPC Ads + Profile Features + Account Management)

Offer the same targeted advertising as impression ads but a business pays only when a user clicks on the ad. Yelp displays ads for a business in search results and on competitors' business pages and each time a user clicks on that business’ ad, the business pays Yelp for the click. The cost per click is based on advertiser demand in the category and the regional area. Multi-location businesses and chains that have their own experienced digital marketing departments have been using this option on Yelp for a few years. This full-service performance-based advertising package has also been available to Yelp's single-location business owners since last year and is growing quickly. Like the flat-rate bundle, this program also comes with profile enhancements and account management.

Self-Serve CPC Ads:

(Ads Only)

For businesses that wish to manage their own ad budget via our website, Yelp's self-serve CPC ad program is a great option. These are also auction and performance-based cost-per-click ads but don't come with full service account management or the profile enhancements that our full service programs offer.  

What’s more, business owners can measure the impact advertising has on their business with the free metrics Yelp provides as part of the suite of tools accessible to anyone who claims their free Business Account. See how Yelp Ads work for you by tracking pageviews and generation of customer leads, including mobile phone calls, clicks for directions, clicks to the business’ website and more. 

For many business owners, however, the real way they determine an advertising campaign’s success is by how many new customers they get from it. In many verticals, even one new customer a month can pay for a Yelp advertising campaign. But don’t just take our word for it. Check out the video below to hear about how Yelp advertising can impact your business, straight from a few small business owners. As Andrew C. of San Francisco’s Press Club puts it, “Yelp has made a dramatic impact on our client base. You can actually see - from the beginning when we opened to where we are now - a pretty direct correlation between the number of visitors we get through Yelp and our revenue.” 

So, can a business owner pay to get a better star rating? Absolutely not. We treat advertisers and non-advertisers exactly the same and you'll find plenty of Yelp advertisers with negative reviews, and plenty of non-advertisers with stellar ratings.

For more information on advertising on Yelp, click here.

*As of Q4 2013, per Google Analytics

March 12, 2014

Yelp Takes You From Artesanías to Zapaterías With Launch in Mexico

Yelp te lleva de Artesanías a Zapaterías con su lanzamiento en México

El país de origen del chocolate, el maíz y hasta el mousepad. Sí, estamos muy emocionados por dar la bienvenida al país número 25 a Yelp: ¡México! Después del reciente lanzamiento de nuevos mercados en Asia, Australia, Europa y Sudamérica, Yelp llega al primer país hispanohablante de Latinoamérica.

Con más de 113 millones de habitantes, México es el país hispanohablante más grande del mundo. Su historia se remonta al año 1500 a.C. con los Olmecas como la primera civilización que se desarrolló en la zona. Para el siglo XV, los Aztecas habían construido un imperio con impresionantes construcciones como pirámides, chinampas y acueductos. La llegada de Hernán Cortés en 1519 desató un largo y tortuoso proceso de mestizaje de las culturas indígenas y Española.

Hoy México es un mosaico multicolor donde podemos encontrar micheladas, mole y muralismo, por nombrar solo algunas de sus aportaciones culturales. Ya sea que busques el mejor taco, un buen pulque o un hermoso alebrije para decorar y presumir en casa, la gente local podrá encontrar sus lugares favoritos en Yelp.

La presencia de Yelp en este país empieza (¿dónde más?) en México, D.F. La capital es su centro cultural y financiero. Es una de las ciudades más grandes del mundo y con aproximadamente 20 millones de habitantes, es oficialmente la ciudad más grande de Yelp.

Entra a yelp.com.mx o baja la aplicación para móvil para empezar a compartir todo lo que conoces. Los negocios también pueden unirse en biz.yelp.com.mx, reclamando sus páginas de manera gratuita y creando su perfil.

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Yelp Takes You From Artesanías to Zapaterías With Launch in Mexico

The birthplace of chocolate, corn, and even the humble mousepad. Yes, we’re thrilled to say 'hola' to Yelp’s 25th country: Mexico! Having recently launched key new markets in Asia, Australia, Europe, and South America, we at Yelp are excited about extending our presence in Latin America.

With over 113 million residents, Mexico is the largest Spanish-speaking country on the globe. Its rich history spans back to 1,500 BC when Olmecs first settled the land. By the 15th century the Aztecs had built a sprawling empire of pyramids, mile-long floating roads, and aqueducts. And the arrival of Cortés in 1519 sparked a tumultuous, centuries-long melding of indigenous and Spanish cultures.

Today, Mexico is a vibrant mosaic of micheladas, mole, and muralism, just to name a few of its cultural contributions. Whether you’re looking for a taco fix, a refreshing pulque, or a beautiful alebrije to showcase at home, locals will now be able to find their favorite businesses on Yelp.

Yelp’s efforts in Mexico will start with, where else, Mexico City. The nation’s capital is also its financial and cultural hub. Though it’s sinking at a rate of one foot a year, this city is definitely on the rise, and with 20 million people it’s officially Yelp’s largest city.

Log on to Yelp.com.mx or download Yelp’s mobile app to start spreading your wisdom. Businesses can get in on the action too at biz.yelp.com.mx by claiming their page for free and building out their profile.


Yahoo Search Now Featuring Yelp’s Trusted Content

We’re excited to announce that Yelp is partnering with a major search provider to make it even easier to find and connect with great local businesses. Guess who...it’s Yahoo!

Yelp’s rich reviews, ratings, photos and business information will help power Yahoo Search in the U.S., making finding businesses a breeze. Yelpers have written more than 53 million rich, local reviews, making Yelp the leading local guide for real word-of-mouth on everything from boutiques and mechanics to restaurants and dentists.

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Yahoo Search on desktop

With local searches making up about 25% of Yahoo’s search traffic, the demand for reliable local information is high, and we’re excited to make this experience even richer for Yahoo users. Across all categories of local business, from dog groomers and day spas to nightclubs and burger joints, trusted content from Yelp’s vibrant community of locals will help Yahoo users decide where to spend their money.

So whip out your smartphone, tablet or laptop and enjoy seeing more Yelp in your Yahoo Search.

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Yahoo Search on mobile


March 03, 2014

Yelp Elite Spotlight: Andrew M. quests to find the world’s greatest burger

We’re back with another edition of the Elite Spotlight series. This time, we’re taking a little trip across the pond to hang with a London Elite who’s always up for adventure. May we present to you, the fabulous Andrew M!

London Community Manager Alex S. describes Andrew as, “a man of the world.” Jumping from Bombay to Saudi Arabia to the U.S., Andrew finally settled in London to take on what Alex describes as his “lifelong goal”: eat every burger in the city and write about it.

From the moment Andrew stepped into his first Yelp event years ago, he was hooked on being part of the vibrant London community. Since that first event, Andrew “pounds through more reviews than Londoners drink tea, sets up his own UYEs (Unofficial Yelp Events), including the legendary Burger Quests, and is a well-loved part of the site.”

We could go on all day about this passionate local, but we’ll pass the mic to Andrew to share some of his favorite local spots and what it means to be Elite.

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Andrew M. (London)

What are the top 3 local spots you’re loving in your city right now?

1) Dinner by Heston Blumenthal - Heston B is a pioneer in molecular gastronomy and his first London restaurant combines modern techniques and ideas with historical dishes. Each of the dishes are from the early days of modern England (the oldest created in the 1300s) and he's kept the core of the dish while giving it his own unique touch. The Chef's Table there was one of the most fun meals I've had so far, with the head sous chef presenting the dishes and then bantering around with us too.

2) Champagne + Fromage - This secret gem is becoming better known by the minute. Run by a lovely French couple, they specialise in grower champagnes that they source themselves as well as a host of French cheeses and rustic foods. The tartines are excellent but what really grabs me is the dark chocolate and blue cheese fondant. I was a bit dubious at first but, damn, if those two things don't go well together.

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Photo of Champagne + Fromage via Jules H. on Yelp

3) Patty & Bun - A street food trader gone brick and mortar, the food has only gotten better and the menu more diverse than when they were slinging burgers at Street Feast. It's consistently in my top three burgers. Plus the staff are fun and friendly and prices are very reasonable given it's in the West End just off Oxford St.

Yelp is more than just a restaurant review site. What else have you discovered on Yelp?

I've used Yelp for nearly everything including evaluating moving companies, boiler repairmen, and even hospitals. There is this cool hidden garden (might actually be called Hidden Gem) up in Dalston that looks like a winner for the summer months - definitely looking forward to trying that out.

Describe your most memorable Yelp moment.

It's near impossible to pick just one moment, but I'll give it a shot. I organised a bunch of new and old Yelp friends for a pub crawl. We all got dressed up as different characters and made our way around the city. But the crawl itself wasn't the highlight - it was the group. Yelpers make a fun group to go out with, you can rely on them to help you push through and they tend to be very encouraging. Plus, with a fairly diverse group there is always someone who knows the way and which pub is best to duck into for a pint! That day is filled with excellent memories and I'd have to tip my hat to Yelp for helping make it happen.

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Andrew and fellow Yelpers cheesin’ at Oktoberfest - photo via Andrew M. on Yelp

What does it mean to you to be part of the Yelp Elite Squad?

Being Elite, and being a Yelper in general, has opened up a whole new part of my life and in some ways has taken over a bit - in a good way. I've always loved food, and Yelp put me in touch with others who were just as passionate, if not more. The Elites tend to be a crazy bunch who are usually up for trying anything and there is always someone who would share an interest, be it setting up a book club, going on burger quests to the detriment of your health, hosting a karaoke and cocktails night, and so much more. Some Elites have become very close friends and without Yelp, I doubt I'd have ever met them. Plus, who doesn't like an awesome event with free food and drink? Especially when you get to chat to the owners and get some rare insight into what drove the idea.