Despite some traction by sites like Yelp — OK, specifically Yelp — the hybrid IYP/rating-and-review segment remains something of a question mark in the industry. It remains to be seen whether such sites can attract a large number of frequent reviewers and users — and not just recent college grads and/or mothers. It also remains to be seen whether they can cross the chasm out of restaurants and bars into the gold mine of services traditionally mined by Yellow Pages.
Besides Yelp, other sites abound, including Cox’s Kudzu, Boorah, Loladex and Citysearch’s Insider Pages. But it is hard to get a handle on how well they are doing. MojoPages, a newer Yelp-like site, reports it has been making progress.
A year out of the gate, the San Diego-based site claims a solid base of 500,000 user reviews and 100,000 local advertisers across the U.S., mostly on the backs of partners including Superpages.com, Marchex, ServiceMagic and ServiceMaster. It also has coupon distribution with ValPak.
President Jon Carder, a 29-year-old vertical search pro who previously sold a mortgage-oriented venture to IdeaLab, says the site has been seeing steady growth. He acknowledges the comparisons to Yelp and others, but says MojoPages has been developing its own unique mix of features, including video reviews, e-mail notification for reviewed businesses, and an “ask friends” feature. It also has set its algorithms to bring up more relevant results.
A search on MojoPages for Carpet Cleaners in Sen Diego will get you mostly relevant results, he says. If you do a search for carpet cleaners in San Diego on Yelp, he says, “six of the 10 results aren’t even carpet cleaners.”