Jason Del Rey

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Google’s Local Business Is “Really Struggling,” in “Constant Chaos,” Yelp CEO Tells Charlie Rose (Video)

Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman

Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman

Based on their relationship today, it’s hard to believe that Google almost owned Yelp.

The acquisition never went through, and today the two companies seem firmly entrenched on the enemy side of the frenemy divide, with Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman teeing off on Google whenever he has the chance, and Google continuing to launch search innovations that seem to be aimed directly at Yelp.

The latest shot fired came during Stoppelman’s recent appearance on Charlie Rose’s interview show.

At one point, Rose asked Stoppelman whether Google’s purchase of Zagat could pose a threat to Yelp. In short, Stoppelman’s answer was no. But the longer answer is much more interesting, and a sign that Stoppelman, at the very least, still thinks about Google quite often.

Here’s how he answered the question — you can also watch it in the video embedded below. His response begins around the 17:40 mark:

Every six months to a year there’s a reinvention of what Google has been doing in the local space. You know, there’s just been change after change. And I think what that says, or I think what that should communicate is that they’re really struggling in the space. And they’re having trouble finding something that really works and something that they can stick with.

Originally, it was Google Local, then they made it Google Maps and then they changed it to Google Places. And then they had Hotpot, then they bought Zagat, then they tried Frommer’s and then they sold Frommer’s and then they’ve revamped Zagat. And so it’s constant chaos over there. And if you’re winning, usually it’s calmer waters. And the thing about Yelp is we’ve been doing the same thing for about nine years, so we feel pretty comfortable with our position.

A Google spokesperson didn’t respond to an email seeking comment, sent Sunday evening.

(Image courtesy of Flickr/Brian Giesen)


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— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google