updated 10:35 am EST, Fri December 18, 2009
Google would get local searching firm
Google is deep in talks to acquire Yelp, more than one source claimed late Thursday. The local business location and reviewing site is deemed "very likely" to sell itself for over $500 million based both on its valuation and its heavy Internet traffic.
Those speaking to TechCrunch don't specifically say why Google would acquire Yelp, but it's believed to be part of a push for more detailed local information. The search engine giant already has search and reviews systems in Google Maps and recently introduced QR code stickers to point to reviews on location. Also, Yelp results often appear on Google searches where Google has no real influence on the smaller firm.
Yelp has the advantage of both a central portal for finding restaurants and other local shops but also has a particular advantage in the mobile space, where its apps for the iPhone and other platforms provide an emphasis on learning about and navigating to businesses where Google's own tools are still focused primarily on general direction-finding.