Google goes local: Possible Yelp buy would change the way we shop, find our fun

In a move sure to change the way we shop and find our entertainment, Google is in serious talks to purchase Yelp, one of the vanguards of user-generated content and reviews on the Web, for around $500 million, it was reported today.

Yelp, which relies on free user reviews (meaning no pay) and selling spots at the top of the search lists to advertisers for $300-$1,000 a month, is set to make $30 million in revenue this year.

The move ties in neatly with Google's recent announcement of Google's Favorite Places, where businesses and restaurants will be identified with barcodes read by smartphones. The electronic barcodes could impart significant data to one's phone such as product reviews, price comparisons and coupons to on-the-fence shoppers mulling over a purchase.