Thumbtack Vs. Yelp (Which Is Better?)

Do you want to know how Thumbtack compares to Yelp, and which is better?

Thumbtack is a relative newcomer to the home services marketplace, but it is quickly growing into a home services juggernaut.

In this guide, I will go over...

  • Why Thumbtack is my top pick for finding pros
  • How Yelp is different than Thumbtack
  • Differences in costs for service pros
  • The downsides of Yelp's "free" company profiles
  • And more...
thumbtack vs yelp

Thumbtack Vs. Yelp (Which Is Better?)

Yelp and Thumbtack both have professional websites that seek to match customers and pros --- but if I had to choose --- I would pick Thumbtack.

Yelp is still mainly known for rating restaurants, and that's great --- if you own a restaurant. With Thumbtack, it was designed from the ground up to match customers with service professionals like plumbers, painters, electricians, and other service pros.

Thumbtack even uses machine learning to match customers with pros. Thumbtack has been growing tremendously since its founding in 2009, having completed millions of projects, and it also has acquired massive funding from Google and other well-known companies.

You can check out Thumbtack right here to find a service pro.

Thumbtack For Customers

One difference I noticed between the two companies is that Thumbtack will immediately ask the customer a few questions about the job request with the Filters tab.

When I put in Exterior Painting onto Yelp, it didn't even ask me for the square footage of the paint job.

thumbtack vs yelp

Thumbtack Filters Companies Upfront

If you insert exterior painting into Thumbtack's search box, you will immediately be able to filter the job for the whole house, portion of the house, or just touch-ups.

You can also filter for the square footage of the paint area.

I think this makes it more likely that you will find the right company for the job.

You may be searching for exterior painters on Yelp, and the company you are contacting doesn't even do full house paint jobs.

Read Also: How Does Thumbtack Work?

Thumbtack Gets More Details

And then when you want to contact a company on Thumbtack, they will ask you several more questions about the job. 

Questions like...

Number of stories (1 level, 2 levels, 3 levels)

What is the material made of? (brick, vinyl, wood etc.)

Who is buying the paint? (customer, pro, unsure)

Is there wall damage? (peeling, flaking, cracks etc)

And after Thumbtack asked you these details, you are given the option to upload some relevant pictures of the job, and you can also write a short message for the service pro.

thumbtack vs yelp

Thumbtack Has Good Aesthetics

Frankly, I also think Thumbtack has better aesthetics than Yelp. To be honest, Yelp doesn't look so great in my opinion.

Whoever designed Thumbtack should be applauded because it looks significantly better than Yelp. I am sure this will help attract more customers and pros over to Thumbtack over the years.

Thumbtack For Service Pros

Free Profiles

One big difference with Thumbtack is that as a service professional, everyone is competing on a level playing field.

On Yelp, you may be missing out on some very lucrative leads because Yelp allows companies to be contacted for free. Phone numbers are listed on Yelp profiles. And some of these company profiles have been on Yelp for years, and acquired substantial reviews --- and don't pay anything for leads.

With Thumbtack, every company is paying for highly targeted and filtered leads.

Read Also: TaskRabbit Vs. Thumbtack (Which Is Better?)

No Restaurants Please

In addition, I still think Yelp is mainly used for finding restaurants --- it is kind of what they are known for --- good or bad. If you think sushi, I think of Yelp.

But when the average person thinks of Yelp, they aren't thinking plumbers, painters, or HVAC techs. They are thinking of finding the best pizza place with 5 star reviews.

With Thumbtack, the whole website is dedicated to service pros --- and not restaurants. In fact, Thumbtack has over 1,100+ different types of services available.

Cost Per Lead

With Thumbtack, all service professionals are paying for leads, and the cost depends on the industry.

Kitchen remodeling leads are going to be much more expensive that leads for carpet cleaners.

You will set a custom advertising budget so you will get a certain amount of leads per month.

Lead Discounts

The nice thing about Thumbtack is that the more they give the lead to companies, the more they will discount the price.

And this makes sense because the more you have to compete for the lead, the less valuable it becomes.

You can read about their lead discount policy here.

Read Also: My Thumbtack Review (Ultimate Guide)

thumbtack vs yelp (1)

Yelp For Service Pros

There are basically two options for pros who want to use Yelp. You can stick with the free business profile and acquire reviews or you can pay for targeted ads and an upgraded profile.

The Review Algorithm

When I used Yelp in the past, one frustrating thing is that it can be difficult to get reviews. This is because Yelp uses an algorithm to filter out reviews that it regards as suspicious.

So you are in a catch-22 because if you are a new Yelp listing, you have no reviews --- and it makes it significantly more difficult to get reviews.

I have had legitimate customers leave reviews for my home inspection company, but Yelp rejected the reviews for whatever reason.

But it also goes the other way around, review fraud likely still happens on Yelp and it may never completely go away.

Annual Contracts

And one of the biggest changes Yelp has made over the years is that they no longer use an annual contract for their service providers. In the past, Yelp would force pros to sign contracts for significant sums of money which guaranteed a certain amount of advertising over the year.

I remember getting pitched their sales contract a couple years ago and the experience was quite distasteful.

Read Also: How Does Thumbtack Work?

Pay Per Click

However, Yelp has finally got rid of the dreaded annual contract and now each pro pays for their advertising on a monthly basis. Yelp charges per click for each targeted ad on their website. 

Basically, this means that you get a premium business placement at the top of any Yelp organic search results.

This is very similar to how google sells ads to companies who then get their placements above any organic search results. And similar to google, you will set a monthly advertising budget with Yelp, which you pay for at the end of each month.

Upgraded Profiles For Yelp Pros

In addition the sponsored placements, there are a few other upsides to advertising with Yelp such as upgraded profiles. If you have an advertising account with Yelp, you will be eligible to get profile features unavailable to free profiles such as...

#1. Change Order of Profile Pictures

You can manipulate the order of profile photos which you can't do with a free account.

#2. Remove Competitor Ads

When someone goes to your company profile on Yelp, either through a sponsored ad or through the organic results, Yelp may still insert competitor ads on your profile.

With this paid upgrade, Yelp will avoid showing any competitor ads on your company profile --- giving you a significant advantage to the free profiles. 

#3. Profile Highlights

With this feature, you can highlight certain taglines in your profile such as "10 Years in Business" "FREE Estimates" or "Emergency Services". Basically, Yelp will cause these items to stand out in your profile more than with free profiles.

#4. Call To Action Buttons

With this paid for feature, you put a special button on your profile that asks the customer click on it to get a free quote, book an appointment, or to call the company.

Read Also: TaskRabbit Vs. Thumbtack (Which Is Better?)

Yelp For Customers

Yelp for customers is a little different in that you can browse among the free company profiles. Similar to Thumbtack, you can also click on a button requesting a free quote that will ask you a series of questions about the job, but not as detailed as Thumbtack.

For my exterior painting example, Yelp will ask you:

#1. Surface Type (wood, aluminum, vinyl)

#2. Who Supplies The Paint

#3. When Want Job Done?

Then Yelp will ask for your email address and for you to either sign in or sign up in order for the quote request to go through .

At the end, Yelp will also ask if you want to get multiple quotes.

If you check Yes, then Yelp will notify around 4 companies of your quote request.

Read Also: My Thumbtack Review (Ultimate Guide)

My Top Pick Goes To Thumbtack

I think Yelp and Thumbtack are both good services for finding home service companies. 

However, if I were to pick between the two for finding a home pro (or signing up as a pro) --- I would go with Thumbtack.  (You can sign up with Thumbtack by going here.)

Here's why...

Designed For Professional Services

Whereas Yelp was originally used for rating restaurants, Thumbtack was designed from the ground up for matching service pros with customers. Their design makes it friendly and effective for finding the right pro. Currently, Thumbtack has over 150,000 active service pros.

Level Playing Field

With Thumbtack, service professionals don't have to compete with "free" profiles that have hundreds of reviews and have been on Yelp for years. With Thumbtack, every company is paying on a cost per lead basis.

Exact Matches

For every quote request or company contact, Thumbtack will ask you a series of questions about the job request. Then Thumbtack will connect the customer with the company when their is an exact match. 

This means that the company has specified that yes, I want these exact types of jobs.

This can save a significant amount of time and energy.

Lead Discounts

Unlike a lot of other home service marketplaces, Thumbtack will actually discount the lead it sells to companies the more companies they give the lead to --- a smart way to do business.

Lead Refunds

Thumbtack has a wise policy of refunding any exact match leads to service pros if the customer doesn't respond or view a company response within 48-hours.

Other Home Guides

Looking to learn more about home maintenance? Check out our other informative home product reviews and guides!

Ask Me A Question!

Arie Van Tuijl

Arie Van Tuijl

Arie is the founder of Home Inspector Secrets, an online resource dedicated to helping people understand how homes work. He is a licensed home inspector in two U.S states and owns a residential and commercial inspection company. To ask Arie a question, please use the comment box at the bottom of the relevant article.

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Home Inspector Secrets is an online resource for owners, buyers, and sellers to understand all aspects of home ownership. We have detailed home guides, product reviews, inspection advice, buying tips, and much more.