Yelp, Search Engines Talk Local and Social at LSS

Top speakers and candid talk filled Steve Espinosa’s Local Search Summit held today in conjunction with SES San Jose. Running from stage to stage, I had the chance to check out at least the second half of it.

Tech A-lister Jason Calacanis gave a quality interview with Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman, revealing among other things that Yelp will soon integrate real-time feeds, a la Twitter. This will likely take the form of short real-time reviews or experiences of restaurants and local businesses. This will supplement the longer form reviews the site is known for while feeding general demand for real-time, feed-based microblogging.

Stoppleman also mentioned that Yelp has reached 7 million total reviews — figure I hadn’t heard before. The perennial issue of dealing with inflammatory reviews also came up — mostly diffused by Stoppleman’s claim that this is a combination of media play and selective memory. In reality, most reviews are middle of the road and 85 percent of reviews have a 3 star rating or higher.

The subsequent panel featured Facebook, the big three search engines (or two search engines and a “decision engine” if you prefer) and Andrew Shotland. This group likewise projected that real-time conversation feeds about local businesses will soon supplement the more static local business information they currently serve. This is a concept we’ve explored a few times, and we expect to see more of it soon.


Update: David Mihm has a great (much more detailed) recap of the entire day, including announcements from Google’s Ari Bezman about the elusive topic of the Local Business Center’s “Whitelist.”

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. David Mihm

    Hey Mike, so glad that you were able to make it to LSS; it was great to meet you in person. At the risk of leaving a self-serving comment, I did a little wrapup of the Q&A session where Google announced a Whitelisted Bulk Upload feature for the Local Business Center, and rumor has it there will be a fuller recap published on Local Search News tomorrow :)

  2. Mike Boland

    Excellent. I’m sure your coverage was more nuanced than my end of day, end of conference, general recap. I’ll add a note to the post.

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