If you want to know the different ways Yelp makes money, you will find this article very helpful.

It reveals exactly how Yelp makes money, including some that you may not be aware of.



It is 5 pm and if we had one big listening device that we could turn on at around this time we would hear one overwhelming and earth-shattering question.

What do you feel like for supper?

First, this company has paid $25+ million to members:

SurveyJunkie (only USA, Canada, Australia residents allowed). You can earn money sharing your thoughts. They have already paid $25+ million to their 20+ million members just for sharing their thoughts and opinions. Click here to join SurveyJunkie for FREE

Following this question, a variety of food cravings would be mentioned.

Pizza, fast food, chicken, Mexican, Thai, or Chinese would be some of the responses.

If a decision is made, then where to go?

Fear not.

Waiting in the wings, not chicken, is the “caped” website or app known as Yelp.

Yelp is a game-changer.

A simple search on a food item or certain cuisine or other shopping option simply needs to be inputted in the search bar and a variety of mouth-watering pictures of your chosen food will populate your screen.

In addition to the location and picture of your favorite food will be a variety of reviews posted by several customers who offer their opinion.

Let us peel back the Yelp onion and see what lies beneath its layers.


What Is Yelp?

Yelp is an online service offered to individuals who are looking for a variety of services in their immediate area.

Some of those services could be dentists, sports clubs, hotels, restaurants, etc.

Other services include trades that are needed by individuals for repair work in their homes.

This list could include landscapers, electricians, plumbers, etc.

Therefore, if you are looking for something, even entertainment, Yelp is the go-to site that will help you find what you are looking for.

Yelp also allows the customer or the individual receiving these services to post a review.



Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Jeremy Stoppelman and Russell Simmons founded Yelp in 2004.

Both graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in computer science.

Upon their graduation, they both worked with PayPal as software engineers.

Their coworkers included Elon Musk and Peter Thiel.

When PayPal was sold to eBay they each went their separate ways.

Simmons pursued a new startup idea while Stoppelman went to Harvard in pursuit of an MBA.

A year later found this dynamic duo partnering together along with one of the cofounders of PayPal, Levchin.

Together, they began to pursue a new idea.

Levchin, knowing of the incredible expertise and innovation that Stoppelman and Simmons brought to the table, granted them a million dollars to come up with an idea that would resonate in the technology world.

One of those ideas or innovative thoughts was relative to the Yellow Pages.

It was an old school area that had not been significantly impacted or coupled with the power of the Internet.

As the story goes, Stoppleman felt sick one day and needed to see a physician.

He took to the Internet to find a doctor and while doing so it got him to think about ways that customers could post reviews about the various services that they were provided.

Yelp was brought into this world with the help of a doctor.



Names for Yelp began with the possibility of naming the website or the service Yokel.

Fortunately or unfortunately, the domain name was not available.

Consequently, they came up with the name Yelp which seems to be a combination of Yellow Pages and the word help.



Interestingly, Yelp entered into a two-year contract initially that allowed Google to engage content on Yelp in conducting basic searches.

Google realized the potential and offered to buy Yelp for $550 million.

Of course, Stoppleman declined the offer which only snowballed the value and worth of Yelp when other companies heard of Google’s offer.


How Does Yelp Make Money?



The majority of revenue that is generated for Yelp is realized through advertising.

This advertising is purchased by businesses and is posted on the Yelp platform.

The business model is that Yelp will assess a fee to a business each time a potential customer or customer clicks on that ad.

This is known as a CPC basis or Cost Per Click.

This means therefore that any time that a user mouse clicks on the advertisement; a fee is generated back to Yelp from that business because of their advertising on the Yelp platform.

Also, the CPC varies according to the type of business that is advertising.

An example would be that restaurants would pay a lower fee for their CPC as the opposite would be true for a law firm where a higher cost per click is assessed.

Also, the ads are situated on a variety of spots within the platform.

The advertisements could appear when an individual searches or may appear on a competing page of a competitor.



As it relates to advertisements there are a variety of levels that the advertiser can take advantage of when working with Yelp.

The second tier of advertising offers two premium packages for the advertiser.

The first upgrade is known as a branded profile and the features that are extra with this level of advertising include photos rotating through like a slideshow.

Also, is the feature of buttons that are enhanced and grab the user’s attention, specific information regarding the company, and also their ability to add videos if they so choose.

The higher upgrade or enhanced aspect of the advertisement is known as enhanced profiles which offer the same features that the initial upgrade offers but with the added dimension to remove competitor ads from the returned search.

To access these upgrades, Yelp charges a monthly subscription fee.

The fee is determined by the amount of money that the business expends on the ads placed on Yelp.

Therefore, the more that the advertiser spends on promoting their company or business, the lower the fee will be.

Again, this company has paid $25+ million to members:

SurveyJunkie (only USA, Canada, Australia residents allowed). You can earn money sharing your thoughts. They have already paid $25+ million to their 20+ million members just for sharing their thoughts and opinions. Click here to join SurveyJunkie for FREE



Third-Party Ads 

Yelp offer also offers third-party advertisers an opportunity to promote businesses on the Yelp platform.

A third-party advertiser, on Yelp, could be a kitchen or grocery product.

It is not a business that provides a service per se but may resonate with a customer if they are looking for a restaurant.

Heinz ketchup would be a good example of a third-party advertiser appearing on a search for a restaurant.

For this service, Yelp receives a percentage of the expense of that ad through a contractual agreement that provides for shared revenue.



Yelp also receives a revenue stream based on commissions.

Specifically, Yelp receives a commission when Yelp facilitates transactions on behalf of its partners.

Examples of these transactions could include any Yelp deals, gift certificates, GrubHub, etc.

These Yelp deals or prepaid vouchers provide a significant discount to customers to encourage them to shop at particular businesses.

Any time one of these vouchers is turned in for that discount, a commission is received by Yelp.

Gift certificates work in the same fashion and are generally purchased by an individual to gift that certificate to someone else for their discount.

In regards to the contract, the deal worked out with GrubHub, if a customer places an order at a restaurant through Yelp, then a commission is received by Yelp.



One other stream of revenue realized by Yelp is when business dealings occur through the Yelp platform.

This occurs because Yelp is fully integrated with all of its business partners who conduct business directly on Yelp’s website or app.

Therefore, because of this direct involvement with the Yelp platform, the purchase of a product or service occurs on the platform and Yelp receives revenue from those transactions.



Yelp reservations is a tool available to restaurant business partners which enables the platform to capture online reservations and send direct messages to customers as well as provide waiting times.

Businesses pay a monthly fee to subscribe to these reservation products.


Yelp Knowledge 

Knowledge is power and Yelp captures an abundance of data and provides that information to businesses that provide insight on their customer’s habits, reviews that are posted, and ratings.

Businesses pay a fee to access this data which helps them to market their business more efficiently.


Yelp Power


We’re #1 

So how important is Yelp to businesses?

Recent statistics indicate that those businesses that achieved an average of 4.5 stars as indicated on the Yelp app or website grew more than businesses that were honored with the five stars.

Yelp is pretty important in attracting customers as well as those customers referring their positive experience or negative experience with others.

Yelp can make a star out of business by facilitating a process for customers to rate their experience.



Consider this. 42% of the people who visit Yelp will follow through on the purchase that same day.

Additionally, 25% will make a purchase within a matter of hours.

85% of Yelp users who have had a good experience with businesses will post that positive experience and pass it on to their sphere of influence.

Also, the unheard length of a visit by an individual utilizing Yelp and researching a business stays, at an average; of a little over three minutes and the average visitor will sort through 7 to 10 pages.



Finally, as it relates to people eating out at a restaurant, 55% of people conducting a search for a restaurant to eat at through Yelp will order from that restaurant either through having the food delivered or will opt for takeout.


Seal Of Approval 

There used to be a magazine that often gave out a seal of approval.

Yelp also does this for various establishments that meet certain criteria as it relates to satisfaction indicated by their customer.

Therefore, there is a seal or sticker that is given to businesses that qualify to earn this Yelp sticker.

Those qualifications include:

  • Providing excellent customer service
  • A significant number of quality reviews and high ratings
  • Responding to comments from customers whether they are good or bad
  • And following Yelp’s best practices

The sticker offered by Yelp is receiving a badge that reflects exceptional services provided to their customers.

It is an honor.



Yelp is all about providing service to the customers.

An additional reflection that mirrors their appreciation of customer service and likes and dislikes, the Yelp app has been refined so that if an individual has a particular like or dislike, they can personalize their app.

For example, if an individual is a vegetarian, then they can make that preference on their app and their home screen will reflect the best vegetarian restaurants in the area.


How Yelp Makes Money FAQs


What Countries Is Yelp in?

In addition to the United States, Yelp is located in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Singapore, Switzerland, Turkey, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.


Does Yelp Have Any Competitors?

The top competitors of Yelp include Yahoo, Google, Trip Advisor, Foursquare, and Meituan.


What Is the Net Worth of Yelp?

Answer It is estimated that Yelp is worth, as of May 2015, 3.5 billion dollars.


You Can Do It

Have a craving for a specific type of food; want to know where one of the best pizza parlors is?

You can find out quickly by searching on the Yelp app or simply doing a search on the Internet and you will be introduced to Yelp.

The Yelp website will not only give the various locations where your craving can be satisfied but boxed nicely with customer reviews.



In days gone by, it used to be the Yellow Pages.

Their slogan was “Let your fingers do the walking.”

Today, the concept of the Yellow Pages has been enhanced.

That enhancement has been through the use of technology and people can still let their fingers go to the various businesses that they would like to find out about and take advantage of their services or products.

The major difference is that the fingers “walking” over a smartphone provide a more unique and powerful shopping experience.

Again, this company has paid $25+ million to members:

SurveyJunkie (only USA, Canada, Australia residents allowed). You can earn money sharing your thoughts. They have already paid $25+ million to their 20+ million members just for sharing their thoughts and opinions. Click here to join SurveyJunkie for FREE

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Apart from being a seasoned Personal Finance expert who has written for top publications around the world, I bring significant personal financial experience. Long story short... through bad financial choices... I found myself $100,000 plus in debt. I was able to dissolve this indebtedness and regain financial solvency. This financial turn around was accomplished through reading, studying and implementing a financial plan. My financial plan included paying down my debt through budgeting, being cognizant of where my financial resources were being spent, changing my attitude about money and understanding the binding chains of the improper use of credit. Today, and for 10 years, I have been debt free and have invested wisely to enjoy my current retirement. This is allowing me to write to help others make, save and grow money wisely!