Thursday, 17 January 2008

Local Search

Local searches, for the most part, are conducted by consumers on the local or directory (yellow pages) sections of leading search sites. According to comScore, Google captures the largest share of local searches (30%), followed by Yahoo! (29%) and Microsoft (12%). In an related study, comScore said that most people doing local search (59%) are searching for recreational activities such as a restaurant or a cinema, theme park or other attraction. Another large segment (41%) seek information on local services, including car rentals, dry cleaners and lawyers. Searchers are looking for the basics: 52% said they searched specifically for a business phone number or address.

A report called "Why Search Matters to Local Business" from WebVisible demonstrates the growing significance of search engines in meeting consumer's need to find a local businesses. The survey of 2,000 Internet users conducted by WebVisible and Nielsen//NetRatings, revealed that search engines are used by 73% of consumers when seeking local products and services -- more than any other media type. By comparison, traditional advertising sources are becoming used less frequently. According to the report, usage is as follows:

  • Internet search engines 73%
  • Yellow pages telephone directories 65%
  • Internet yellow pages 50%
  • Local newspapers 44%
  • White pages telephone directories 33%
  • Television 29%
  • Direct mail 20%
  • Consumer review Web sites 18%
  • Radio 15%