While navigating to a new client, I stumbled into their Apple Maps Yelp reviews. It occurred to me that Yelp could be an interesting way to find and research leads. So far, I've only used it a few times, but here's what I've found:

The Good:

  • It works best for smaller businesses.
  • The list is local and categorized, with contact info. Yelp mostly knows the difference between auto repair and auto sales.
  • Contact names are often revealed in reviews.
  • Review history gives clues to how long they have been in business.
  • Companies that aren't ethical with their vendors probably aren't ethical with their clients. Many bad reviews probably show when to steer clear.

The Bad:

  • Gleaning useful info from reviews grows harder as businesses get bigger. You probably won't get useful info from Yelp for enterprise and most large or multi-location businesses.
  • Searching by city also shows hits in nearby areas. If I wanted that area, I'd search for it specifically.
  • I bet their TOS prohibits this, especially in an automated or bulk fashion.

Thoughts? Let's discuss. DM me on Twitter.