Search Engines Remain Primary Local Business Information Source

According to an annual TMP Directional Marketing (TMPDM) local search study announced earlier this month, there were 21.9 billion searches across all media platforms in June 2009, up 31% from a year earlier. Among other things, the study commissioned by comScore, measured the primary sources of local business information.

The data from 4,000 respondents showed that 31% of those surveyed rely on search engines as their primary source of local search information, with search engine share flat year over year. Print Yellow and White Page Directories were the second most common primary source of local business information for 28% of those surveyed, down from 30% a year earlier. So no, contrary to popular belief in certain circles, print is not dead. Coincidentally, the Internet Yellow Pages share of 21% grew share by 2% up from 19% last year, the same as the loss of share by print. Local search sites were primary source for 12% of respondents, up 1% from 11% in 2008.

Search by Mobile Internet users grew to 22 million in June 2009. This was up 127% over June 2008, a much steeper growth rate than search overall at 31% , In perspective, mobile search still a small percentage at .1% of overall search share. This will change as more and more users become equipped with smartphones (can you say iPhone) and wireless broadband data becomes ubiquitous. Imagine the location based advertising opportunities, where Starbucks ads can be sent to GPS-enabled mobile users within eyeshot of a Starbucks. As a consumer, this means the option of receiving coupons while in line waiting to get a coffee you were going to buy anyway.

According to the study, of the 22 million mobile searches, 32% were for local business information. The most sought after local content for mobile users included online directories (42%), followed by maps (41%), restaurant information (37%) and movies (30%). Mobile search will continue to grow and can present some interest local advertising opportunities for local entertainment.


Rick Noel is an experienced digital marketer enabling businesses and organizations to grow through the Internet, while maximizing marketing ROI (Return On Investment). Rick is the CEO and Co-Founder of eBiz ROI, Inc., a full-service digital marketing agency located in Ballston Lake, NY.

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