Local Search Growth Outpaces Overall Online Search

Posted 04/17/2009 - 11:18 by Editor

SOURCE: Yellow Pages Association

Local Search Growth Outpaces Overall Online Search

Interest in Local Search Boosts Usage of Internet Yellow Pages

The study found that local search -- the practice of using online search tools to find local businesses, products, or services -- grew 58 percent in 2008, reaching an annual total of 15.7 billion searches. By comparison, overall U.S. Web core searches grew at a much smaller rate of 21 percent year-over-year, nearing 137 billion searches by the end of 2008. Local searches stand at 12 percent of core searches on the top 5 portals.

Buoyed by the growth in local search, Internet Yellow Pages and locally-focused online business directories also saw double-digit growth of 23 percent in the same period, totaling 4.6 billion searches in 2008.

Users access Internet Yellow Pages and local online business directories in a number of ways. Some visit Internet Yellow Pages sites directly by typing in the URL or with a bookmark, while others access Yellow Pages and local data through feeds to other sites, such as Google Maps, Yahoo! Local, and CitySearch.

As more users conduct local searches, exposure to sponsored links for Yellow Pages data is increasing as well. Year-over-year, Internet Yellow Pages sites have seen their exposure to sponsored links increase 50 percent to reach 353 million in the month of December 2008 alone, demonstrating the increasing need for local business information.

"As local search grows, our data becomes more valuable," said Neg Norton, president, Yellow Pages Association. "Whatever way consumers choose to find a local business, chances are the last mile of the search was supported by Yellow Pages -- whether the consumer knows it or not."

Local Search Means Business

"Even if the searcher doesn't know the company or brand they will ultimately give their business to, the decision to actually make a purchase has often already been made," Norton said. "That is a strong argument for local merchants to develop and maintain an online profile, if they haven't already done so."


--  75 percent of the top 100 keywords searched on Internet Yellow Pages
    sites were non-branded, indicating that a majority of consumers have not
    decided on a specific company or product brand when they begin their
--  Nearly half (45 percent) of Internet Yellow Pages and local online
    directory searchers made an online purchase in the fourth quarter of 2008.

The comScore study measured real-life Internet browsing, buying and transactional activity of approximately one million U.S. Internet users who provided permission to be monitored from December 2007 to December 2008.

About The Yellow Pages Association

The Yellow Pages Association (YPA) (http://www.ypassociation.org) is the largest trade organization of a print and digital media industry valued at more than $31 billion worldwide ($14 billion in the U.S.). Association members include Yellow Pages publishers, certified marketing representatives (CMRs), and associate members (a group of industry stakeholders that include Yellow Pages advertisers, vendors, and suppliers).

About comScore

comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) is a global leader in measuring the digital world and preferred source of digital .marketing intelligence. comScore derives its information and analysis from a representative panel of more than two million Internet users worldwide who have provided explicit permission for comScore to install its patented measurement technology on their computers to monitor their online browsing, buying and other transactional activity across the entire World Wide Web. For more information, please visit www.comscore.com/companyinfo.