If you are a small business owner and you are apprehensive to Yelp, you're not alone. To many, the internet itself is a beast that small business owners just don't want to face, ready to swallow them whole much like Amazon.com has made many small bookstores need to rethink their traditional business model and marketing plan. Don't worry though, Yelp is a happy smiling Monster like Mike from Monsters Inc. Started in 2004, Yelp is an urban online directory that allows visitors to find, talk about, and then review local businesses from restaurants to hair salons. The scary part?
What are search portals and why are they so important to your business?
The online landscape has changed to a local focus. There are really only two primary search engines in 2012: Google and Bing as Yahoo is powered by Bing. (I'm going to give honorable mention to DuckDuckGo, (pure results minus ads), Blekko (a slashtag and trusted site-based search engine) and WolframAlpha (a wicked computational answer engine) to be fair here as these are awesome search resources too). Because there are only two majors and there are so many second tier directories, aggregators, databases, social networks and Internet Yellow Pages (IYPs), it all becomes one big jumble for our local search optimization efforts. So this term is something we coined to simplify it for you. Let's just define it this way. Search portals are the best places "you want your business to be on the internet."