Google, the California based search engine giant, is currently in middle of talks with Yelp, the highly popular local review and search engine, to acquire the website, which reportedly gets more than 25 million unique visitors every month.
TechCrunch has reported that Google is in an advanced stage of negotiations to acquire Yelp for at least $500 million in an attempt to become a major force in the local search marketplace.
The search giant has taken into account the fact that Yelp has a dedicated user base across metropolitan locations in USA and a huge database of reviews on local businesses.
Yelp, which was founded in 2004 by Jeremy Stoppelman and Russel Simmons, allows its users to post reviews of businesses in and around their local area, something that Google has been actively trying to replicate on a global scale with its own Google Maps and Places.
The company had announced earlier that its revenue for 2009 will be around $30 million and it had also predicted $50 million revenue for 2010.
It appears that Google is acquiring companies that will ensure its smooth entry in the local market place segment as the company has recently taken over AdMob, a local advertising platform for iPhones for $750 million.
For Yelp, that would be the exit strategy that they were looking for. Either take the money and run or wait till Google starts to squeeze you completely out of the market and then break down and cry. The website would be having issues trying to expand outside the US with Qype, Yahoo and many others having already cornered the market.