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BizReport : Search Marketing : May 04, 2009

comScore: Growth of local search outpacing regular search

According to new figures from comScore, the use of search tools to find local businesses, products or services grew 58% last year to reach an annual total of 15.7 billion searches.

by Helen Leggatt

comscore.gifBy comparison, overall U.S. Internet searches grew just 21% to around 137 billion in 2008.

The data shows that more and more Internet users are logging on to find local businesses, potentially driven by the increase in use of mobile Internet and the availability of Google Maps.

Interestingly, when keywords for searches on Yellow Pages were analyzed, it showed that three-quarters of the top 100 keywords were non-branded, indicating that searchers did not have a specific brand in mind at the time of the search.

"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," said Neg Norton, President of the Yellow Pages Association. "That is a strong argument for local merchants to develop and maintain an online profile, if they haven't already done so."

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.

Tags: comScore, general search, Google Maps, local search, mobile Internet, search engine, Yellow Pages

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