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BizReport : Search Marketing : October 10, 2008

Report: Local search, mobile search important to consumers

Local search is hotter than ever and don't rule out the impact of Yellow Pages. Those are two key findings in a new report from TMP Directional Marketing. According to the report more than one-third (31%)of Internet users first turn to search engines when looking for local stores, products and services.

by Kristina Knight

This moves search engines and local search just above the Yellow Pages (30%) for total usage by consumers. Yellow Pages and printed directory usage slipped three percentage points from the 2007 numbers.

"If you go back farther than the two years of this study," said Gregg Stewart, TMP Directional Marketing's Senior Vice President for Interactive, "you'd likely see a much larger drop in usage towards the beginning and middle of 2000. It's also differential by category. Looking at something like airlines, the print product is obviously not as relevant. But for emergency needs like plumbers, consumers still have held on to their directories."

However, Stewart expects print usage to continue to deteriorate over the next few years because of mobile search platforms. As consumers continue to adopt smart phones, mobile search and voice activated search, Stewart expects print directory use decline even further because consumers will be able to find the information they need easily by phone.

Where mobile is concerned, that migration is already happening. Researchers found that one-fifth of users with Internet capable phones have already conducted a local search. These users are also increasingly using platforms like 800-FREE-411.

Tags: local search, mobile search, search marketing, yellow pages

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