The Truth About Yelp

May 27, 2016
Mike Dolpies

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Celebrate Summer and Remember the True Meaning of Memorial Day!

Here’s some fun reading for the weekend…

This past Wednesday a few colleagues and I did a workshop for about twenty or so business owners.

It was on various aspects of digital marketing.

Many questions answered and a ton of knowledge was dropped.

One of those questions…

“Mike… tell me about Yelp, I am ALWAYS getting calls from them, Should I buy their ads?”

So I figured I’d use this week’s article to answer it here too.

A few things about Yelp…

  • It’s a media company (for the most part) more than it is a “tech company.”
  • It’s NOT a search engine.
  • Reviews are its core product. These are all generated by users.
  • Yelp’s Market Cap is $1.97 Billion. That means, you would need that much if you wanted to buy the company. In perspective… Google’s (Alphebet’s) Market Cap is $507.69 Billion… Facebook is worth; $345.81 Billion

The typical short answer to the question of whether you should buy their ads is… “NO.” But it depends.

Certain industries can benefit from Yelp Ads…

Restaurants and places to eat. Certain trades… think plumbing and some home improvement. Further down the list… fitness and wellness services.

BUT… now here’s the big BUT! Their ads are over-priced.

I have heard a few horror stories…

“I signed this six month Yelp contract for $400/m and there were crickets.”

“I stopped my ads and now they only show bad reviews.”

All you have to do is look to the company’s worth to know their ads are not worth what they charge. See line four above. Perhaps if their ads where less money… a business owner would see some return and continue to purchase?

Point being…

That same ad spend… spent more wisely used on…

Organic SEO/Content Marketing.

Email List Building/Email Marketing

Mobile App Installs

Facebook Ads

And Google Ads

Would give you more bang for your buck.

And think about it… You need only look to the worth of Google and the worth of Facebook to figure out their ad products are much more effective and valuable… hence one reason these two companies can by 450 plus companies the size of Yelp if they wanted to.


Have the right tracking installed on your website.

What I liked about the guy who asked the question was… he had the tracking in place.

He saw that Yelp barely sent him any web traffic.

That tells you something, right?

All that said… you should still claim Yelp’s free listing and try to gather good reviews there.

For more ideas to take your marketing out of 1985 check out…

Online Marketing Free Audit


About the author

Mike Dolpies Mike Dolpies (aka Mike D.) owns “Ocean View Publishing, LLC” - a diverse media/Internet Marketing and Consulting Company. He started his first business when he was just 18 years old. By the time he was 23 that business had generated well over a Million Dollars in sales and was consistently in the top 20% of its industry. He's the Author of 6 different books. His first book, “Motion Before Motivation, The Success Secret That Never Fails,” became a bestseller on He's been a guest on the Fox Morning News several times and has been written about in many newspapers. His work has also appeared on and Fox

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