Data just released by leading web analytics firm Alexa Internet, Inc. reveals that over the past two years, ‘pay to play’ review sites have lost significant market share to popular ‘crowd-sourced’ peer-review sites.

The chart above shows that the old standards of online reviews (Better Business Bureau, Yellow Pages, and Citysearch) continue to lose significant market share compared with the breakout player of the past two years, Yelp; and other ‘crowd-sourced’ peer-reviewed media.  Anecdotal research was conducted by the operations team at Total Social Solutions, LLC (‘TSS’) to get additional insights.  TSS’s Chief Operating Officer, Chris Hall said that “growth is oriented entirely in crowd-sourced peer review media such as Yelp, Facebook, Google Places and FourSquare; while tired old pay-advertising is losing overall market share.”

Today’s more savvy consumer values reviews and comments from their peers on a more ‘level playing field’ such as Yelp and Google Places, versus the old systems which forced a business to pay simply to have their business listed.  Users of these sites trust these sources of recommendations more, given the relative lack of commercial bias.

TSS’ Chief Commercial Officer, Jake Laban added “this data confirms the positions that we recommend to our clients.  Simple, low-cost social media marketing is quickly taking the place of the outdated and expensive pay-to-play online listing business model of the past.”

Total Social Solutions, LLC is based in Las Vegas, NV and can be reach at


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