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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Type of businessSubsidiary
Type of site
Local search
Founded1995 in La Crescenta, California
HeadquartersWest Hollywood, California
Area servedUnited States
ParentCityGrid Media (eLocal)

Citysearch is an online city guide that provides information about businesses in the categories of dining, entertainment, retail, travel, and professional services in cities throughout the United States. Visitors to each of Citysearch's local city guides will find contact information, maps, driving directions, editorial, and user reviews for the businesses listed. Citysearch is headquartered in West Hollywood, California and is an owned and operated web site of CityGrid Media, which is an operating business of eLocal.[citation needed] The original office was in Pasadena, California.[citation needed]

Citysearch was founded in September 1995 by Jeffrey Brewer, Caskey Dickson, Brad Haaugard, Taylor Wescoatt, and Tamar Halpern. Charles R. Conn was then recruited to lead the new company. The idea, initiative, and seed capital came initially from Bill Gross.[1]

In August 1998, Citysearch merged with Ticketmaster Online.[2] In July 1999, Citysearch acquired the competing Sidewalk.com website from Microsoft,[3] and merged the two sites together. In December 1999, Ticketmaster-CitySearch received a $40 million investment from USA Networks, Inc., then controlled by Barry Diller.[4] In 2007, another competitor, Insider Pages was acquired.[5] In June 2010, Citysearch LLC rebranded as CityGrid Media. The company also operates similar local consumer properties, such as Insider Pages.[6]

In 2019, eLocal acquired CityGrid Media from IAC.[7]

While many local search sites mushroomed in the 21st century, Citysearch faced intense competition from the fast-growing Yelp, Inc. In the late 2000s, Yelp grew at 80% while Citysearch growth remained flat.[8] Local search engines from Bing, Google and Yahoo also became competitors to Cityserach for finding local businesses on the internet.

Best of Citysearch[edit]

Best of Citysearch is a feature that gives locals an opportunity to vote for their favorite businesses in popular categories such as Restaurants, Nightlife, Hotels and Services. Citysearch opens up its annual polls with nominations from editors. Throughout the voting period visitors to the site cast votes for their favorite local business. After the polls close, the top ten businesses in each category are revealed to their cities.


  • In 2005, Citysearch was criticized by a blogger for their alleged inflation[9] of user submitted ratings and reviews. Citysearch has since updated their ratings system. Citysearch has also stated that they have the right to refuse to post or to remove any user review that violates the terms of use. Reviews that are subject to removal include unacceptable content such as profanity, personal information, promotion of illegal activity and harmful content.[10] In November 2007, Citysearch partnered with MerchantCircle,[11] a company that conducts automated telemarketing to small businesses to sell them online advertising packages.


  1. ^ "Bill Gross' many business ideas". Los Angeles Times. 2012-07-08. Retrieved 2019-12-23.
  2. ^ "IPO Daily Report: CitySearch to merge with Ticketmaster Online 8-13-98". MarketWatch. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  3. ^ "Microsoft Sells Off Sidewalk Sites to Rival CitySearch". BNET. 1999-07-20. Retrieved 2008-07-03.
  4. ^ "Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch Receives $40 Million Investment From USA Networks, Inc". PRNewswire. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  5. ^ "Troubled Insider Pages Acquired By CitySearch". TechCrunch. 2007-03-01. Retrieved 2008-07-03.
  6. ^ "Citysearch Recasts Itself As CityGrid Media". TechCrunch. 2010-06-02. Retrieved 2010-06-02.
  7. ^ "ELocal Acquires Felix and CityGrid from IAC to Build on Performance".
  8. ^ Schonfeld, Erick (Sep 2, 2009). "Yelp Is Growing 80 Percent A Year, While Citysearch Remains Flat". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  9. ^ "Normalize Citysearch Rankings With Greasemonkey". DeWitt Clinton. 2005-10-05. Retrieved 2008-07-03.
  10. ^ Citysearch Terms of Use
  11. ^ Search Engine Watch, Nov 29, 2007 Archived 2008-06-22 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]