For an industry predicated on information and tracking it’s amazingly hard to come across hard data which is widely agreed on. A couple of years back Google officially told a waiting world that about 20% of all search is local or has local intent…..that was the last hard statistic we had on the subject. Subsequently there have been a couple of tidbits from the likes of Yahoo which pointed to 25% of search as local, but agreed hard numbers in search remain scarce. The good folks at Chitika have just released data they collected in September points to 43% of searches being local. That’s a huge number…Chitika is an ad network started by a couple of my Lycos Alumni and I’m sure their data is as reliable as it’s likely to be. That 43% doesn’t include a lot of searches which are done through mobile devices so it’s likely to be an even larger absolute number. At a recent informal gathering a Googler was unofficially quoted as saying local search is “about half” of all search. Traditional search has slowed in growth somewhat of late but the overall volume of search (especially driven through apps and mobile) continues to rise dramatically.
It shouldn’t be that surprising that the explosive growth of smart phones is driving search but it’s good to get reasonably independent confirmation of the numbers. Mobile is inherently local so it makes sense that we look for things local on it. When we use our smart phones for search it’s a pretty good bet that what we are looking for is a phone number we can call from that phone…..all those factors are accelerating the drive to Pay Per Call local lead generation especially through mobile search….which coincidentally is what we are all about.