Is Yahoo! Losing Local to Google?

Yahoo! has always been one of the leaders in local and a kind of standard setter. Relatively speaking, Google is a bit of a “Johnny come lately” in the segment — albeit with a lot of resources and attention. However Google’s devotion to its maps product has paid off and caused it to overtake Yahoo, in the quest to beat market leader MapQuest:

Maps traffic 1/08

Over at SEL I blogged about big customer satisfaction gains for Yahoo in general search, which are based on the the most recent Keynote Customer Experience Rankings of search engines. Overall, Yahoo has made some impressive strides and also recently beat Google according to the University of Michigan American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).

According to one of the Keynote satisfaction findings, however, Yahoo appears to be declining vs. Google in local:

Task Success

Source: Keynote Systems, Inc. (2008)

In discussing the 2007 ACSI index results with Larry Freed, President and CEO of ForeSee Results, which sponsors and interprets the ACSI e-business report, I asked him how to reconcile the findings with the market share distribution in search. Freed told me he was confident that “search market share reflects past behavior. But the ASCI is predictive of future consumer behavior.”

If that’s true Yahoo! might well still be the local traffic leader, but this Keynote datapoint should be of concern.


8 Responses to “Is Yahoo! Losing Local to Google?”

  1. Steve Espinos Says:

    What I find interesting is that they didn’t include or combine the traffic from Yahoo! Maps and Local together since Google has both local search and maps in one subdomain and yahoo has them separated into two.

  2. Greg Sterling Says:

    Good observations.

  3. ian Says:

    on a related point, i don’t think any map APIs are included in these stats. Google claims 50k sites using the Map API, and we know it is the most popular for mashups. i would think Map API info would more or less mirror the Hitwise stats

  4. Local Search, SEO, and Rants | Stephen Espinosa » Blog Archive » Yahoo! Local and Maps Says:

    […] to drive more traffic to one source than two, and in effect, easier to grab a bigger market share. Greg Sterling wrote a little piece on market share and Google seams to have a clear lead but this also may be due to Local Searches […]

  5. Steve Espinosa Says:

    API requests would not be included in this due to the fact I believe hitwise just tracks a sample of internet users and their activity.

  6. Louis Gray Says:

    We definitely switched away from MapQuest/Yahoo! to Google Maps. An easy decision and the right decision.

  7. tacimala Says:

    An additional thought I had about this last week was the fact that Google’s numbers are probably much lower than what should be represented. If you are doing a local intended search on and click on one of the results from the onebox, you are taken directly to the destination instead of to first. You’d have to click on the Local business results link above the onebox, the reviews link, or the more info link next to a business before actually going to

    This is annoying from an analytics perspective too, because it’s basically impossible to track onebox traffic vs. organic traffic unless the user goes through to before clicking through.

  8. Greg Sterling Says:

    Another interesting observation. You’re right about the direct referral.

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