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Crowdsource-based review directory Yelp is gearing up for its imminent Australian launch with local carrier partner Telstra.

Yelp Inc has registered both local Australian and New Zealand domain names, with Yelp.com.au secured in September.

The San Francisco headquartered company has also been quietly hiring staff over the last two months. It is understood to have hired content ‘scouts’ in Sydney and Melbourne who are busily crafting the key review copy required to feather the local site.

Former Three Drunk Monkeys Content Coordinator Joel Amigo Hauer was hired as the Sydney based Yelp Scout in October. He describes his role as “helping Yelp launch in Australia, writing copy for various reviews of establishments around Sydney. Really heaps of fun.”

The company has also advertised for a number of part-time marketing assistant positions based in Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide. The job description calls for “well-written, social and entrepreneurial residents who know their city inside and out.”

The roles call for prospective Yelp employees to review and photograph their social and business haunts and edit local business listings.

It also understood that Yelp.com’s director of marketing Laura Nestler has been visiting Australia to prep for the local launch and will re-locate to the Sydney office once opened.

It is anticipated that yelp.com.au will be fully operational by the end of 2011 with Sensis’ Yellow Pages media advisors offering Yelp advertising options to customers in 2012. In July, Yelp announced its intention to head to Australia via a strategic partnership with Telstra’s directories arm, Sensis.

Under the deal Yelp will integrate Sensis’ Yellow Pages local business listing data into its site, while Sensis' local sales force will launch yelp.com.au into the Australian market.

Given Sensis’ flagging results revealed by Telstra CEO David Thodey last week, the digital boost from Yelp may prove a welcome panacea.

This nexus between mobile and web directory seachability is another reason Sensis was so keen to take on the business.

Yelp is also prolific on mobile, launching its first iPhone app in 2007. The app enjoys 4.5 million users monthly, with those mobile customers drive 35 percent of the company’s search traffic.

Yelp’s Stoppelman said at the time, “expanding Yelp to Australia is a very exciting endeavour for us, especially as this represents our first collaborative effort with a media company. Partnering with Sensis enables us to establish a strong local presence and quickly form relationships with businesses throughout Australia.”

Meanwhile Yelp filed its long awaited plans for a $US100m IPO with the SEC on Friday.

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