There’s no denying local search has exploded in recent years. As the print yellow pages decline, more and more people are using search engines like Google to connect with businesses in their local area.
This is highlighted by the rapid growth of local search in 2008. According to research firm comScore Inc., the annual growth of local search far outpaced growth of overall web search:
The study found that local search — the practice of using online search tools to find local businesses, products, or services — 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.
In recent times, Google has made a number of changes to local search which would be one of the primary reasons behind its rapid growth.
- Google have integrated local business results into their main web search results.
- Google expanded the number of listings on Google maps from 10 to potentially thousands of listings.
- Google has recently started showing local results for generic keywords like “florist”.
By increasing the exposure of local businesses in Google search results, Google is beginning to change the way consumers find local businesses online. This means it’s more important than ever to make sure your business can be found.
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