Yell gives consumers a voice with purchase of TrustedPlaces
Yell announces today that it has acquired Trusted Places Limited, the company behind the popular UK local reviews website trustedplaces.com
The purchase means that Yell will, for the first time, enable consumers to recommend a local business through its Yell.com website.
The combination of Yell's database of over two million businesses with TrustedPlaces' proven expertise in generating recommendations from local consumers represents a major shakeup of the fastgrowing local reviews market.
It will drive strong benefit to Yell's 399,000 mainly small business advertisers, through generating additional leads and providing a richer online interaction with existing and potential new consumers.
Mark Canon, president of new media at Yell in the UK, said: "This represents a significant growth opportunity. We all know that recommendations help local businesses to attract new consumers, so Yell.com and TrustedPlaces are a perfect fit."
Initially, TrustedPlaces reviews will be added to Yell's business listings, leading to full integration under the Yell.com domain.
The company also expects that the techniques and technologies that have made TrustedPlaces successful in the UK will be shared with other Yell Group operating companies in the US, Spain and Latin America.
Under the deal, Sokratis Papafloratos, chief executive and cofounder of TrustedPlaces, is joining Yell as head of social products in the UK.
He said: "The internet gives customers more influence in the reputation of a local business than ever before.
"This exciting partnership gives businesses the opportunity to harness the power of recommendations like never before."
TrustedPlaces was launched in late 2006. The private equity backed startup now attracts around 700,000 unique users a month looking for recommendations on local businesses across a range of key categories. These cover, for example, Restaurants, Bars and Pubs, Hotels and Travel, Beauty and Spas, Shopping and Home Maintenance and Repairs, which includes services such as plumbers.
Launched in 1996, Yell.com is the UK's local business search engine and a major online advertising medium for small and medium sized enterprises. Yell.com provides consumers with a direct and effective route to finding a business or service online using keyword, type of business, or company name and location as search criteria. Consumers can review relevant search results and quickly determine the right business for their needs based on detailed advertiser information and rich, vertical content to better help them make a decision. Yell.com's up to date, comprehensive and trusted database of over two million UK business listings including 199,000 searchable advertisers (March 2010) can be accessed via the web site (www.yell.com), through web browsers on all mobile phones and a downloadable application available on a wide range of mobile devices. Yell.com also provides sophisticated, zoomenabled maps to help consumers locate its SME advertisers, and provides other features such as walking and driving directions, closest car parks and street views.
TrustedPlaces is a community website where people share and discover recommendations on local businesses, such as restaurants, bars, pubs and much more. The company was founded by Sokratis Papafloratos and Walid Al Saqqaf and has now become one of the leading local information resources in the UK. In 2007 the startup received funding from HOWZAT Media, the fund setup by dotcom veterans Hugo Burge and David Soskin.
Yell Group plc
Yell is a leading international directories business operating in classified advertising markets in the UK, US, Spain and Latin America through printed, online and telephonebased media. Yell's principal brands include: in the UK, Yellow Pages, Yell.com and 118 24 7; in the US, Yellowbook and Yellowbook.com; and in Spain, Paginas Amarillas and PaginasAmarillas.es. All these brands are trademarks.
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