Local Search Queries on the Rise

Filed in Local Search, Searcher Behavior, Statistics by Matt McGee on December 21, 2008 12 Comments

Found this Mike Boland post on the Kelsey Blog 10 days ago, but have been too busy to do anything with it before now.

Mike presents a pair of charts that Yahoo Local’s Atif Rafiq presented at SES Chicago earlier this month, both of which show a steady — you could say substantial — rise in the amount of local search queries. (Both charts use comScore data.)

local search queries 1

This first chart above shows a 76% increase in local queries from February 2007 to February 2008. This second chart (below) — which, now that I’ve re-read the post, I’m not sure if it was part of Rafiq’s presentaton or something Mike put together — shows a significant rise in local search queries on a per searcher basis.

local queries 2

It’s good data to see; further proof of the ongoing growth of local search.

Comments (12)

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  1. Local Search Queries Increase: Can You Be Found? | ineedhits | March 2, 2009
  1. Glen Allsopp says:

    Definitely good data, thanks for sharing that Matt. I guess stats like this should give those who are doubtful about it’s future a fresh perspective.

    If business aren’t optimised for Local Search then they’re missing out.

  2. Greg says:

    This is comScore data that appears in the TMP report: http://www.localsearchstudy.com/

  3. Matt McGee says:

    Cool – thx for clarifying, Greg.

  4. Russell says:

    Local search directories like click2connect.com and yellowpages.com carry millions of users per month that small businesses can leverage to increase awareness of their products and services.
    There is no doubt this is where the action will be going forward…

  5. Libor says:

    Russell. how exactly do you connect or carry millions of users per month is a mystery. Your site is under construction and if there is any action going forward then it mised your site by miles

  6. Russell says:

    I dont say i carry millions of users. What I do say is that local search engines collectively do. I even cite the example of yellowpages.com
    The point being that there is significant traffic on these local directories of which many people are not aware.
    Sorry if my English was ambiguous

  7. Ben says:

    We have multiple clients using Internet Yellow Pages and the results (so far) have been lackluster.

    Generally speaking, I agree that local search is where things are headed. But, there are still targeting issues (that if improved would result in further increases in local search). I suspect that this is one of the reasons the IYP sites don’t do better (if they truly get the traffic they claim to get) – their search functionality is weak (in many cases).

  8. Russell says:

    Its not a question of a lack of traffic on iyp’s. You can verify the traffic of any iyp independently on alexa or quantcast. The problem for some companies may be this:
    Lets say your client is a plumber in New York and you try to list of yellowpages.com with one of their premier services. The chances are that the national plumbing companies who list with yp for hundreds of thousand of $ per year will dominate the first page of listings. Most searchers as you know wont go beyond the first page. That means even though your client is on page 2 or 3, he wont get much traffic.
    Thats where the smaller iyp’s come into play. They have significant traffic collectively and its much easier to beat the nationals for the first page listings because they arent often even clients of the smaller iyp’s.
    When you say that you think the reason for the lack of traffic is in fact poor search functionality, you are partially right, but the real problem is a lack of data. If the data on businesses is in their database then its easy enough to serve up a good query result. The problem with poor data is caused by businesses who dont take an interest in and ownership of the data that search companies have on them. A simple example is that less than 5% of US business have even claimed their listing on google local even though its free. If companies arent actively marketing themselves as any business should be, then its hard to improve local search.

  9. Bob Sommers says:

    Hi Matt:

    Do you have the most current local search statistics? Thanks a million.


  10. Matt McGee says:

    Haven’t seen any updates on these numbers yet, Bob. Sorry…

  11. In an attempt to update some local search data I came across your site. Your information confirms data I collected for 2006, which is that local searches are climbing fast and ‘not’ including the traditional yellow pages or other well-known directories. Instead, locals are looking for ‘local’ directories, or directories that provide results with truly local businesses. This prompted me to create http://www.CityDirectoryOnLine.com which has no intrusive advertising and completely local results. I believe local searching should be just that. Further, I created the site so that every U.S. business could create or edit their own listing 24/7, and include up to 5 images. The traditional paper directories that are kept in a closet, drawer or simply tossed in the trash are no longer the first choice in finding a local business. And, local searches are still on the rise.

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