URL:  www.yelp.com
Year Launched: 2004
Reputation Impact Rating: Medium/High
SEO Benefit: Yes
Advertising Options: Yes
Claim Listing: Yes

Yelp.com is a local search engine/review site aimed to help its users find great local businesses like mechanics, ac repair, dentists, etc.  After a search query is entered in and the user clicks on a corresponding business link, information like the businesses phone number, address, hours of operation, reviews, ratings, and more will be presented to the user. 

Businesses can create their own profiles that allow them to edit their information as they please and connect to their customers. Business profiles are free of charge.

As described on Wikipedia
Yelp, Inc. is a multinational corporation headquartered in San Francisco, California, that operates an “online urban guide” and business review site

The company’s rating system and tools for filtering reviews have been the subject of both controversy and litigation. A Harvard business administration professor co-wrote a study in November 2013 that said that fake reviews on the site rose to roughly 20% in 2013.

About Yelp (From Site Owner)
Yelp was founded in 2004 to help people find great local businesses like dentists, hair stylists and mechanics.

  1. Yelp had an average of approximately 132 million monthly unique visitors in Q1 2014.
  2. Yelpers have written over 57 million local reviews.
  3. In addition to reviews, you can use Yelp to find events, lists and to talk with other Yelpers.
  4. Every business owner (or manager) can setup a free account to post photos and message their customers.
  5. Yelp makes money by selling ads to local businesses – you’ll see these clearly labeled “Yelp Ads” around the site.
  6. Paying advertisers can never change or re-order their reviews.
  7. Yelp uses automated software to recommend the most helpful and reliable reviews for the Yelp community among the millions we get. The software looks at dozens of different signals, including various measures of quality, reliability, and activity on Yelp. The process has nothing to do with whether a business advertises on Yelp or not. Learn more here.
  8. You can access Yelp via iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, and more – see the full list of mobile apps here.
  9. The Weekly Yelp brings locals updates on the latest and greatest business openings & other happenings.

From Alexa
Audience snapshot. Based on internet averages, Yelp.com is visited more frequently by females who have some college education and are accessing the site from their school or work.

History as found on Wikipedia
Yelp was founded byJeremy Stoppelman and Russel Simmons in 2004. The company’s Yelp website began as an email service for exchanging local business recommendations, and later introduced social networking features, discounts, and mobile applications. Yelp has extended its services to Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore and parts of Europe.

Google offered to buy the company in 2009, but they and Yelp failed to reach an agreement on the terms of a sale. Yelp received $130 million in venture finance as a privately held company, and began public trading of its stock on the New York Stock Exchange in 2012. The firm acquired Qype, its largest European rival, in 2012, and online reservation company SeatMe, in 2013.

Two former PayPal employees, Jeremy Stoppelmanand Russel Simmons, founded Yelp during their time at a business incubator, MRL Ventures, in 2004.[2][3] Stoppelman and Simmons conceived the initial idea for Yelp as an email-based system for referring friends to local businesses, after Stoppelman caught the flu[4] and had a difficult time finding an online recommendation for a local doctor.[3][5][6] The co-founders’ former colleague from PayPal and founder of MRL Ventures, Max Levchin, provided $1 million in initial funding.[3] MRL co-founder David Galbraith came up with the name “Yelp”.[3][7] According to Fortune Magazine, Yelp’s initial email-based system was “convoluted”.[3] The idea was rejected by investors and did not attract users beyond the cofounders’ friends and family.[8] Usage data showed that users were not answering requests for referrals, but were using the “Real Reviews” feature, which allowed them to write reviews unsolicited.[3] According to the San Francisco Chronicle, “the site’s popularity soared” after it was re-designed in late 2005.[9]

Yelp raised $5 million in funding in 2005 from Bessemer Ventures and $10 million in November 2006 from Benchmark Capital.[3] The number of reviewers on the site grew from 12,000 in 2005, to 100,000 in 2006.[8] By the summer of 2006, the site had one million monthly visitors.[8] It raised $15 million in funding from DAG Ventures in February 2008.[10][11] In 2010, Elevation Partners invested $100 million; $75 million was spent on purchasing equity from employees and investors, while $25 million was invested in sales staff and expansion.[12] Yelp grew from six million monthly visitors in 2007 to 16.5 million in 2008 and from 12 to 24 cities during the same time period. By 2009, it had 4.5 million reviews.[13] By 2010, Yelp’s revenues were estimated to be $30 million and it employed 300 people.[8]