Yelp’s real Web 2.0 bragging right is its business model. Unlike many companies in its peer group, Yelp provides a compelling advertising platform. People go there intending to make a transaction—say, find a Thai restaurant in New York or an accountant in San Francisco. And it’s always easier to sell ads to someone when you know what they want. Even on a search engine like Google, people are only looking to transact part of the time. Often, they go to get information. And on a social network such as Facebook, people aren’t looking to transact at all; they’re just there to connect with friends.
I like how Lacy breaks that down. Web-based business models are all clamoring for ad dollars, but how many of them have asked the hard questions of themselves? Like, “Will our users click banner ads?”