About 109 million people, 63 percent of U.S. internet users, performed a local search online in July - 43 percent more than a year earlier, according to a comScore study of the size and growth of the U.S. local search market
Google and Yahoo sites accounted for the largest share of local searches in July: 30 percent and 29 percent, respectively. Microsoft sites garnered 12 percent, followed by the Time Warner network sites with 7 percent. "With approximately 849 million local searches conducted by Americans in July, local advertisers have a sizable market that can be reached through leading search sites," said Jack Flanagan, EVP of comScore Media Metrix.
comScore in another study also found that performing a local search precedes consumers' taking action: 47 percent of local searchers in 2Q06 said they visited a local merchant as a result of their search behavior; also, 41 percent made other offline contact and 37 percent made contact online as a result of conducting a local search.
About 41 percent of those conducting a local search searched for something in their home area rather than information on businesses in locales they intended to visit. Among those searching in their home area, 59 percent searched for a restaurant or something entertainment-related, such as a theater, theme park or an attraction for sightseeing; 52 percent searched for a specific business phone number or address.
comScore defines local search as those that consumers conduct on the local or directory (Yellow Pages) sections of leading search sites, and other searches identified as having local intent.