Google eating Yelp?

Wild, remember when I said Facebook should buy Yelp? I was hoping that Facebook would make a real search play and provide some competition for Google. Looks like my dream didn’t come true and Mike Arrington over at TechCrunch is reporting that Yelp is in final deal stage with Google for about half a billion. Rafat Ali of Paid Content says that that valuation seems low, and I agree. Maybe this is being hung out there to cause a bidding war.

What is at stake here?

Well, when you search for restaurants or businesses on Google, what do you see? Yelp reviews under many of those businesses. But if you are on the iPhone app Yelp makes, what else do you see? Offers from those businesses. THAT is a direct threat on Google’s advertising business (or augmentation if you are looking at it positively).

Recently building43 and I visited Yelp to get an inside look and you can see a lot of their strategy there.

Watch my Twitter list of tech bloggers and journalists to see this story evolve.