Create a website similar to Yelp

Discussion in 'Website Development & Design' started by samuelgeorge91, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. samuelgeorge91

    samuelgeorge91
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    We are a team of 4 and hope to create a website similar to Yelp for creating a reliable business listing. The area we are covering is large and we are stopped at the very start on how to collect the data ie. collect all the business names and other details in our locality. We would like to know if there are any easier ways of obtaining the task.
     
    #1 samuelgeorge91, Feb 20, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2012
  2. amac

    amac
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    Most companies usually pay for this data. This is the problem with price comparison or aggregation sites of this nature - the data comes at a cost either by paying for it or relying on user generated content which can be erroneous. The best way I think is a mixture of factual content and user generated data, but you need to both find a reliable source and offer a compelling or intuitive application to get both.
     
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  3. farmtotable

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    Community relations office will have this information in each town, city, and county. Getting the information from them might be a bit harder but it's all public recodes so they should help.
     
  4. Mark T

    Mark T
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    Hmm. I think you have to buy a list - like buying list of email addresses for email marketing strategies. If you have yellow pages too, then you can use it on finding business names and locations and get their contact numbers too. You can also make use of directories as well and G Maps.
     
  5. Sahil

    Sahil
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    Hi there,

    Welcome to BAF and thanks for posting your questions. There are four methods I can suggest you which can help you in collecting data for your site.

    1. Collecting from Sources
    2. Collecting from Users
    3. Buying from Reliable Sources
    4. Asking Businesses

    1. Collecting from Sources

    The first and foremost thing you can do is to start collecting data from several sources. You can start taking data yourself from Newspapers and magazines. Also you can outsource this task to someone else on cheap rates so you don't have to work much. Another thing will be get data from different websites. You've mentioned about Yelp, so you can start collecting data from Yelp itself. The only thing you've to make sure is the data needs to be accurate and not outdated. And also make sure you choose the best sources available so there will be higher chance of having authentic data.

    Another thing you can do is asking a programmer or a coder to make a script or a software for you which crawls the data from different site and upload it to your site. This will help you in collecting the data in a faster way. But, just make sure you don't crawl the site's which have prohibited that by laws or it'd be considered as illegal.

    2. Collecting from Users

    You can ask users who visit your site to enter data about their own business. You can make up a simple form, so the user who visit your site can easily and quickly enter their own details and thus you'll be able to collect more data in an easy way. But, for making this method work you'll require some amount of visitors visiting your site. Or another thing you can do is setup similar forms on any another websites you own.

    3. Buying from Reliable Sources

    As Alexander mentioned above, you can buy this data. There are several people selling data on several webmaster forums and you can also find them from searching on Google as well. This method works well if you've good budget for buying the data but you've to make sure that you're getting this data from a reliable source not from someone who has just made up fake data for the sake of selling it.

    If you can share more information on location and type of data you require, then I can help you in finding some sources for reliable data.

    4. Asking Businesses

    Another thing you can do is ask the business owners to enter their data on your site. You can either go locally to them or you can also mail them giving proper information about your site. If you send a mail just make sure that you're mail sounds professional or else they'd simple ignore it and consider your site as a spam site.

    I hope this helps you in collecting data for your site and also good luck with your project.

    Sahil
     
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  6. Business Attorney

    Business Attorney
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    Sahil's answer really covers it pretty well. Most of the business directories I have seen along the lines of a Yelp have bought lists (Sahil's item 3). I can tell that most of the sites in which my business is listed buy the names and addresses from the telephone company because they all typically list my partner's name in the same unique way that the telephone company did when we first set up our account.
     
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  7. AshleyWhiteBusin

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    This might ba a tough job specially the part about collecting sources and data. But with the right tools, this is a cool business to start with. It is easy to create the site, you need to find the data first.

    Goodluck.
     
  8. patrick0001

    patrick0001
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    Recently, I just run a web directory http://www.sourcemalaysia.com/, I would recommend the most minimum cost to run it. My directory is 3 months old daily have 15-25 visitors.

    1. Purchase PHP Link Directory + hosting + a good domain
    2. Setup all the category + Use the build in spider tool to copy data from DMOZ and Google.
    3. SEO the target keywords, make sure it rank for couple of important keywords.
    4. Increase PR.

    By doing above matter, you able to encourage webmaster to submit directory.

    Yes you will receive all kind of submission, junk submission, local submission and worldwide submission. Through those data, you can filter it and setup another quality directory. Which the quality allow user rating, map location, contact number.

    For non online activity 2 way you can go:
    1. you can collect data through name card printing shop, most of name card contain number, company website, fax and address.
    2. Participate as much exhibition as you can, from you can collect free brochure and name card. Those are brand company, also a must have company in business directory.

    Finally you need hire a data entry to handle those data.
     
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  9. ThirdSEO

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    The best thing for you guys to do would be to start within a niche and become very popular within that subsection. Start expanding into other niches when people start to recognize you as a reputable place for business reviews. Don't rely too heavily on purchased lists because a lot of them will be outdated and have useless information. If you really wanted to attack this seriously you would need to set aside a marketing budget and start an Internet marketing campaign for your business listing and review directory. That way only businesses that are IN BUSINESS will contact you with their information. You can setup a simple form with the information that you want to collect on each of the businesses and let them fill it out themselves. After they submit the form, you review it and check for any errors then upload it to your website. The only thing regular users should be allowed to do is submit reviews and rate the businesses, that's it. Don't let them enter the business information themselves or you'll end up with a lot of problems. I would strongly suggest you start with a high quality, professional looking site and then market your directory to businesses through the Internet. To secure big businesses, travel to their main offices and offer them a listing on your site for free. You can start charging for business listings after you have about 50-100 reputable businesses on your site.
     
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  10. eli770

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    I am also working on something similar

    I'd love to talk
     
  11. Charlesutton

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    I'm very excited to hear more about this. I have clients that despise Yelp! and looking for more reputable review sites. Got a Facebook page yet?
     
  12. jeff123

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    You can make use of Social Media websites like Facebook to attract more clients who would be interested in enrolling with you... plus buying data is always an option... You can also get some local business data from local classifieds, directories, etc., this would help you build your database....
     
  13. Rachel S

    Rachel S
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    The best solution is definitely Geo theme which offers all the necessary functions you will need to build a local business directory or even a worldwide one. It is a sort of Yelp clone theme with great amount of functions and a very professional looking layout which can be modified in many ways.

    Moreover, as the platform is WordPress you can easily add other functions and sections to your website whenever you want, plus you can use SEO plugins to optimize it for search engines.

    If you want to build a Yelp clone this is far the best solution.

    Hope this might help. Have a charming day :)

    Rachel !!!
     

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