YPA: Local Outpacing Overall Search

picture-67Based on comScore data (from 1M users, 12/07-12/08) the Yellow Pages Association put out data today that show local search growth outpacing the rest of the “industry.” Here are the numbers in the release:

[Local search] grew 58 percent in 2008, reaching an annual total of 15.7 billion searches. By comparison, overall U.S. Web core searches grew at a much smaller rate of 21 percent year-over-year, nearing 137 billion searches by the end of 2008. Local searches stand at 12 percent of core searches on the top 5 portals.

Buoyed by the growth in local search, Internet Yellow Pages and locally-focused online business directories also saw double-digit growth of 23 percent in the same period, totaling 4.6 billion searches in 2008.

Re IYP usage in particular:

  • 75 percent of the top 100 keywords searched on Internet Yellow Pages sites were non-branded, indicating that a majority of consumers have not decided on a specific company or product brand when they begin their search. (me: This attempts to dispel the notion that most IYP users are looking for contact information when the come to an IYP site, which undermines the case for advertising)
  • Nearly half (45 percent) of Internet Yellow Pages and local online directory searchers made an online purchase in the fourth quarter of 2008.

As the readers of this blog know, I define “local search” much more expansively than comScore does (search with geomodifiers or happening on a narrow class of sites). My definition goes to user intention and ultimately buying behavior (transactions), which makes it a much bigger part of the query volume pie.

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Related: MediaPost gives very favorable coverage to the data.

One Response to “YPA: Local Outpacing Overall Search”

  1. Quick News: YouTube Redesign, Charging for Video, Local Search Numbers, Dex Mobile and EU Papers « Screenwerk Says:

    […] Provencher blogs about the recent YPA-related comScore data re local search and IYP usage. His headline discusses the 12% of search is local. Let’s step back: this 12% […]

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