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:
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 Google.com. 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.