After Yelp published its less-than-stellar Q2 earnings on Tuesday, the obituaries started pouring in. The business review service reported a per-share loss of 2 cents in Q2 of 2015 (twice the estimated per-share loss), causing its stock to plummet by 28 percent by the next day. Yelp pointed to the impact tech unicorns have had on the talent market. Tougher hiring conditions hinder recruitment and may result in slower revenue growth as less ads are sold. But the biggest contributor to Yelp’s stock devaluation came from the announcement that the company will discontinue its display advertising by the end of the year.

The majority of Yelp’s revenue come from local advertising: 81 percent to be exact. However, the company has been struggling with its international expansion in both usage and ad revenue. Before the company announced its earnings, we looked into what people in different countries use Yelp for and we were able to identify culturally influenced behavioral differences through the data. International differences in consumer behavior are to be expected. The French are more into fashion, while Americans get more tattoos. But what about turning that lens inward and looking at how different behaviors and attitudes within a specific country affect that country’s culture?

The United States is known as the “melting pot”. American culture is a mixture of old and new traditions from around the world. This is precisely what motivated us to look into online behavioral differences amongst the 50 states that constitute this country. We conducted a Jumpshot Site Analysis to understand what people from different states used Yelp for throughout Q1 of 2015. Some of our findings are intuitive and others are surprising. Read on to find out – and see if your hometown made the cut.

Colorado is the Lead for Weed

Did you know that residents of Colorado are eleven times more likely to look for medical marijuana doctors than residents of any other state? A state specific comparison of the pageviews to Yelp’s ‘Cannabis Clinics’ sub-category reveals five significant leaders, in the following order: Colorado, Oklahoma (surprising for a state where alcohol prohibition still lives on), Washington, Montana and California. When we compare the proportion of these views to the average US pageviews for the subcategory we learn that Colorado is the undoubted leader. People from Colorado are also more than twice as likely to look for cannabis clinics compared to people from the four other leading states.

Yelp's Cannabis Clinics Subcategory Leading States by Pageviews

Louisiana is the Most Superstitious

With a deep-rooted history of voodoo and witchcraft (whether you chose to believe it or not), Louisiana is particularly interested in looking into the future. Our data for Yelp’s ‘Psychics and Astrologers’ subcategory reveals that people from Louisiana are roughly eleven times more interested in hearing their fate than residents of any other state. The tales of American Horror Story and True Detective live on through the superstitions of Louisiana’s residents.

California Dreaming

For decades, California has been the dream for many and based on our data that’s still the case today. Our data shows that 54.78% of the activity on Yelp’s ‘Immigration Law’ category in the US comes from California. Be it the wine, the weather or the tech hub, more people in California are looking up immigration lawyers than in any other state.

New England Loves Bed and Breakfasts

The three leading states by far for Bed and Breakfast business pageviews on Yelp are Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire. While it’s not entirely surprising that New England has the most B&B pageviews, what is surprising is by how much. In comparison to the three states with the least amount of visitor interest in B&Bs – Delaware, Hawaii and Nevada – people from New England are nearly seven times more inclined to view a bed and breakfast. Must be that New England fall.

Tennessee Rocks!

While most of us know that Nashville is our nation’s music city, you’d think that music knows no borders. When we compare the pageviews of the ‘Music Venue’ sub-category on Yelp by state to the overall Yelp activity from that state, we see that Tennessee is in the lead. With Hollywood to the West and Broadway to the East, you’d think that live music and concerts are universal. But it turns out that people in Tennessee are almost twice as interested in music concerts than people from any other state, including New York and California.

Bottom line: Every individual is unique, but no man is an island. There are no doubt differences between cultures as well as within them. Differences that need to be recognized and celebrated, as they have shaped the society we live in. Residents of Colorado may be more 420 friendly, while people in Tennessee get their groove on more often. Being aware of our country’s differences is the key to understanding the beauty of our nation.


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