The location reviews space has never been more competitive, and now one of its best-known names, Yelp, is expanding its European presence.
Following a launch in Italy last month, today sees the service debut in Switzerland. While users can post reviews across the country, the company is installing a full-time community manager in Zurich. As we reported earlier this year, Yelp’s growth strategy differs from its rivals by concentrating on particular cities, hiring a dedicated staff member to work with local users and traders to develop local content.
The Swiss launch means that Yelp is now available nine European countries in addition to the US and Canada, with staff based in seventeen cities across the continent. Overall, the service says that it currently hosts over 21 million reviews, and claims 63 million monthly unique visitors to its site, up from 50 million in April, and 45 million in January.
Yelp’s growth comes at a time when Google is aggressively growing its Places offering in the States, bolstering it with an Offers product and the recent acquisition of well-regarded restaurant reviews site Zagat. This push from Google will no doubt extend to Europe at some point. Yelp had previously attempted to buy Yelp and a spat later erupted between the two companies over usage of Yelp reviews in Places. Meanwhile a host of local Q&A startups are lined up, hoping to snag a piece of the local recommendations market for themselves.