Analyzing data from 4,000 online responses, TMP found that the number of searches conducted hit 21.9 billion billion between June 2008 and June 2009, a 31% growth from June 2008. In particular, the use of local search sites jumped from 11% to 12% of this usage, while Internet yellow pages increased in usage from 19% to 21% of respondents.
In particular, 39% engage in online research to aid purchase selection, mainly in the early stages of product research; only 17% stick only with offline research. Sixty-three percent expect their search results to reveal businesses within 15 miles of their homes or places of work, compared to 59% in 2008 and 52% in 2007.
But the real jump in search was in mobile usage, with 22 million consumers taking advantage of the mobile Internet through June 2009. A whopping 127% more users accessed local content via downloaded application compared to the year before.
In addition, 32% of searches with Internet-ready phones were for local information. The most popular searches included online directories (42 percent), maps (41 percent), restaurant information (37 percent) and movies (30 percent).
“[T]he growing demand for local business information across interactive search platforms, especially online and mobile, is creating additional opportunities for national advertisers to reach consumers with more relevance,” said Gregg Stewart, president of TMP’s interactive division 15miles.