More Local Results = Google Maps FTW

Filed in Google, Local Search by Matt McGee on April 21, 2009 8 Comments

When Google started to show local results on non-local queries last month, I and many others speculated that this would be a win for Google Maps. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that showing Google Maps listings on thousands of generic search terms (like “florist” and “lawyers”, with no cityname included) would suddenly introduce Google Maps to a lot of searchers who may not have used it much before.

Well, duh. We were right. I wrote about this briefly on Search Engine Land today — new Hitwise data shows Google Maps getting a lot bigger share of overall Google traffic now than a year ago. Here’s the new chart that shows Google Maps had 2.25% of all Google traffic in March 2009:

google properties

On SEL, I primarily compared these numbers to a similar chart from early 2008. But Hitwise posted an abbreviated version of the chart in early March:


It’s a bit hard to read, but this chart for the week ending March 7 shows Google Maps at 2.2% of overall Google traffic. This is presumably before the expansion of Google Maps listings into non-local searches on And coincidentally, Mike Blumenthal recently suggested that the expanded results began around March 14.

If all of that’s correct, then we can say that Google Maps share of traffic jumped from 2.20% to 2.25% in just about two weeks after the expanded local results started to appear. And it shows that Google is doing a pretty darn good job of raising the overall imprint of Google Maps, which was just a tiny, bit player in the Google universe back in 2006 … see my Charting the Undeniable Growth of Google Maps for more history on the growth of Google Maps.

Comments (8)

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  1. David Mihm says:

    Not that Google would ever share this with us, but I bet the actual use of Google Maps, if we include 10-packs as part of Google Maps, is much higher. Unlike Youtube, which plays or clicks right to another Google property, to Google’s credit, when you click on a 10-pack link, instead of being taken to that business’s Maps profile (which would give them more traffic), you’re taken right to their website…

  2. Miriam says:

    Matt – Thanks for the stats! Pretty neat.

    David – interesting point. I hadn’t thought of that before.

    Google – Now how about getting it right???

  3. B. Chandra says:

    Nice analysis. Google is going about this in an incremental and thoughtful way, but it still is concerning to local destination sites. The trend is clear- Google searchers will increasingly find information on Google directly so long as that information is adequately served up by Google (ie: business directory listings that are nearly identifical from one local site to the next).


  4. David says:

    I was surprised to see that Google decided to wheel this one out world-wide at the same time. They usually test changes on first before deciding if they want to implement the changes globally. I guess they just thought that this would be to beneficial to themselves; its going to increase clicks on sponsored listings for one.

  5. Rob says:

    Thanks for the great information. Good stuff.

  6. SDS says:

    Here’s a question. Lets say you want to list your business in google for an area you don’t live, but use a valid city address though its not yours.

    What is the draw back & potential risk?

  7. Shane says:

    Google maps definitely get more attention than I previously thought and that goes for local listings also. Sometimes, a site gets more traffic from being in the A or B position than being #1 organically…, sometimes. BUT, Google sometimes takes the maps away for certain search phrases.

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