Yelp Explores Advertising For Businesses Without Physical Locations And Off Its Properties

Yelp has been working with large language models (LLMs) -- a type of machine learning -- to enhance search. When users searching on the platform, the query will return a snippet of information to inform the query.

This is one of the improvements made in recent years that have helped the company see strong performance in 2022.   

Tom Foran, senior vice president at Yelp, seemed more than happy to talk about the company’s advertising priorities and how the economic environment is forcing marketers to look for better ad models.

Last year, Yelp saw 16% year-over-year net revenue growth, reaching a record $1.2 billion. The company experienced nearly 25% increase in multi-location channel revenue in 2022 despite economic uncertainty.  

One of the advertising models spurring growth —  Yelp Audiences -- derived half its revenue from non-location based advertisers.

Prior to launching Yelp Audiences, the company did not have a way to work with marketers at some of the largest online companies in the world like eBay, and Zulily. These firms could not be customers previously because the platform required companies to have a physical location.



Product innovations has become a major focus for Yelp, especially in Yelp Audiences, as well as for Spotlight Ads, which launched in late 2022, and Showcase Ads, which launched in 2020.

The Yelp Audiences is a way for Yelp advertisers to reach its users in more places by increasing the company’s online exposure and getting more ad clicks off of Yelp properties. 

Foran says that he also expects attribution — “the antidote to economic uncertainty” — and measurement to become another area of growth in the coming year.

LiveRamp and Foursquare, partners of Yelp, validate how audiences work.

Foran believes that Yelp’s expansion in advertising services — from search to audiences — has enabled the company to add clients such as PetSmart, T-Mobile, and Sephora.

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