The other day I was driving around and realized that my car brakes were acting up. Knowing I hadn’t had any brake work done in a while, I found myself doing something I normally do.
I pulled out my Android (Galaxy S6), pulled up Google Maps, picked my location, and searched for “brakes”.
A bunch of brake repair shops popped-up on my screen and since I was not familiar with any of them, I checked out the reviews. But candidly, Google reviews aren’t always that great or up-to-date. Sorry Zagat
Whenever it comes to local reviews, I immediately think of Yelp. But frankly, I do not keep the Yelp app loaded on my phone, nor do I really like going to their mobile site. I usually wait until I get to a computer where I can navigate the desktop website with a bit more ease. Plus, even if I did keep the app on my phone, I don’t find the location feature as intuitive as loading up my Google Maps and letting location service pinpoint my current location.
The obvious point I’m getting at here is that I believe Google should buy Yelp, so they could incorporate the Yelp Reviews (which are more reliable and plentiful) directly into the Maps product.
Not so surprisingly, there appears to be some recent talk about Yelp being for sale:
Eater (link) – Is Yelp for sale?
Slate (link) – Yelp is for sale.
Nieman Lab (link) – Buying Yelp
Business Insider (link) – Here’s what Yelp CEO said about Google trying to buy his company
Business Insider (link) – Companies that could buy Yelp
Gizmodo (link) – Predictions. Amazon Buy Yelp?
Mergerize (link) – Who do you think will acquire Yelp?
I suppose using the same rationale, one could argue Apple buying Yelp for the same reason, but I’ve not heard great things about the Maps product from Apple iOS users. Also, I just think that Google has done an incredible job with Google Maps and it appears to be more utilized than any other Maps products available.
In my opinion, this isn’t about how a Yelp acquisition would benefit a brand, it’s about how a merger could help consumers and the local business ecosystem.
If you make it easier for consumers to make a buying decision, more in-store local commerce will be transacted. That’s good for the consumer, local businesses, city, and state.
I just hope that if Yelp is ever sold, the acquirer thinks of how to help consumers and local businesses first, and what value the data means to their bottom line second.
What do you think? Tell me your thoughts in the comments section below