Feeds

Yelp lands in Aus with some help from Telstra

User generated site kicks off with whimpers not Yelps

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

Yelp has officially opened shop in Australia www.yelp.com.au, with a little help from Telstra, as part of its progressive international expansion plans.

The Australian expansion features a first for the US site in its partnership with Telstra’s directories arm Sensis.

Yelp traditionally does not partner with local carriers or directories companies but Yelp co- founder and CEO Jeremy Stoppelman said it was important for the Australian launch to get accurate business data as it was difficult to acquire.

“This is the first time that we have worked with a traditional Yellow Pages company but in Australia it is particularly hard to access business data,” he said.

Under the deal Sensis will provide 1 million business listings that allow Yelp to ready the site for launch.

The local site, which at launch will be concentrating on Melbourne and Sydney, went live this morning attracting flurry of grumbles from the Twitterverse.

Key detractors pointed out that the search functionality was lacking a strong degree of accuracy.

“ "Pub" search in Cronulla doesn't yield a single result from Cronulla. Or the entire Southerland Shire. You're kidding, right? #YelpAU”; and “Searched for "bar", get results for newsagents. Relevant. #YelpAU” or “A #yelpau search for Pizzas in Neutral Bay gives me results in Pyrmont, Newtown & Bondi Beach on 1st page. This is not good.”

It is unclear why these glitches have occurred but the fact that Sensis is only supplying 1 million business names would suggest that Yelp to attract a lot of UGC to provide comprehensive search coverage.

Sensis CEO Bruce Akhurst unfortunately said in the launch release, “it’s our job to ensure Yellow Pages advertisers can be found where their consumers are looking and our partnership with Yelp is another example of how we’re extending our advertisers’ reach.”

The second element of Yelp’s relationship with Sensis will cover outsourced online sales. Stoppleman said that Sensis would start selling on Yelp’s behalf once the Yelp community has built enough content to get audience traction, but could not predict how long that would take or give any audience measurement predictions.

Stoppleman has been in Australia this week for the launch and said that the company, which launched in 2004, had also had Australian on its target destination list.

“We wanted to come here for quite some time, the language and cultural similarities are appealing and what works in the US should translate to the Australian market,” he said. The recommendation and search site has already expanded to Canada, UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Spain.

The company is keeping its local investment to a minimum hiring only two dedicated staff at this point but using the wisdom of the crowds to populate its site.

In pre-launch phase, Yelp initiated the rollout of a “scouting ” programme, where local bloggers were hired to review the most popular businesses in their areas across several cities.

Yelp has already hired a community manager in Melbourne is looking for one in Sydney, both will be ‘local ambassadors’ for Yelp managing all online affairs and being present offline at Yelp community events.

Stoppleman could not discuss what Yelp would be doing with the proceeds of it’s $US100 million IPO which was lodged last week, as they are currently listing blackout period but did not rule out looking at acquisitions down the track. Yelp has already attracted a raft of venture capital including $AU95 million from Bono’s Elevation Partners.

“We aim to bring Yelp to the entire world if we can. We have been prioritising cultural closeness but we do want to be everywhere,” he said. Yelp has yet to commit to any local infrastructure investment plans but said that they would be watching the performance of their network closely for any signs of sluggishness. They currently use Akamai “to push things along quickly.” ®

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.