YellowBot is a local community search engine and discussion platform. The service is best described as a marriage between the review features on Yelp and the local searching power of the Yellow Pages. The site lists user created reviews as well as photos and videos to go with local businesses. Featured users are showcased on the homepage along with the most recent reviews, images and video clips. A search tool is available and asks the users to enter a type of business or business name along with a location. Search results include the name of the business, related tags, star rating, address, phone number and distance from the user. Users can also suggest any local businesses that they don’t see already included.Show more screenshots »
YellowBot appeared in 2007 as a part of Solfo, Inc. The website currently includes an active user community, although it is nowhere near as large or popular as sites like Yelp or Google’s business listings. The website does have a lot of cities covered, although some may be a little sparser than others. The site also includes a variety of businesses, including restaurants, plumbers, insurance, pool services and financial services.
It is really difficult to point out any one feature and call it unique on the YellowBot website. The site works a lot like many competitors, such as Yelp (which already has a notable following and any regions covered with its reviews). The only truly ‘different’ features are taken from social networking. Users can converse by sending private messages or find one another on third party networks. This isn’t really original, but may be viewed as a little unique because it is not often utilized with this type of site.
The YellowBot website users a light color scheme highlighted by blue and yellow. The design is clean and contains minimal clutter so the user can easily navigate and find the information they are searching for. Although the design looks good, with modern buttons and a stylish logo, it still doesn’t add much that is memorable to the review or networking experience. With so many other sites doing the same thing, a cutting edge design would be a nice addition to give users more reasons to visit YellowBot instead.
Anyone can browse YellowBot without registering. Those who would like to join the YellowBot community can begin by clicking the bold blue “Sign Up” link in the upper, right hand corner of the homepage. The next page invite the user to register with a Google, Windows Live ID, Twitter, OpenID, Facebook or Yahoo account or by filling out the form presented on the right. The form asks for an email address, username and password. The user is advised that a confirmation message has been sent and must be accessed to complete registration.
YellowBot is available to all users for free. The site does not offer a subscription membership and no purchases or fees are required to join or maintain an account. The user can search as much as they like for nothing. This is right where the price should be considering how many free alternatives already exist. Charging a fee for this type of service would be a bit much without adding in some additional functionality.
YellowBot is a helpful resource for anyone looking for local business reviews and listings. Although it may not be the user’s first choice, YellowBot might be a good second choice if the user is having trouble locating a business or wants more reviews to decide on whether or not they should make a purchase. The site is user friendly and already contains a number of reviews that cover a wide range of cities.