When they're looking for a pizza or a plumber, shopping for bargain deals -- or trying to avoid signing the lease for the apartment from hell, many consumers turn to Yelp for guidance.
The search and business rating website is a popular resource for people looking for crowd-sourced information on everything from restaurants and stores to professional services. And it's a place where people can rave about -- or slam -- the businesses they're commenting on.
Shopping and dining categories are the largest on Yelp. Dining comments are often written in mouth-watering detail, down to the color and crispness of the vegetables or the server's attitude and efficiency.
Business owners can use Yelp, too. By setting up a business account, they can promote themselves to customers, respond to negative reviews and see what's being said about them.
Since Yelp's launch in 2004, it has grown into to an international presence. By the end of last June, 42 million reviews had been posted, according to Yelp.
Activity is driven by the increase in mobile devices: About 45 percent of all Yelp searches are done on mobile devices.
When Yelp Pittsburgh community manager Rachel Carlson came to Pittsburgh in 2011 to promote the site, people who knew what she was talking about were in the minority. That's changed, and Pittsburgh now has a growing and active Yelp community.
"It's been interesting to see the evolution," she said. "I would say seven out of 10 know about Yelp. Some will have the app already. We don't even have to explain it to them."
The Yelp Pittsburgh page mirrors the same popular topics one would find on the Dublin or Sydney Yelp pages, but it also has its local flavor. For example, there are several comments on the dramatic view of Downtown people see when they emerge from the inbound Fort Pitt Tunnel.
Adrian McCoy: email@example.com or 412-263-1865.