The data shows that 63% of Internet users in the U.S. performed a local search in July, a 43% increase y/y. The two sites that top the list are Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) sites and Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) sites, with 29.8% and 29.2% respectively. Here is the rest of the table as it comes from comScore:
|Total Local Searches|
|Total Internet Population||100%|
|Time Warner Network||7.1%|
comScore also did a Search Satisfaction study. It seems that 41% of those conducting a local search were searching for something in their home area rather than in a different city, and 59% of those searches were entertainment related. 52% were using local search as a directory to find addresses and phone numbers.
For advertisers it seems the news gets even better. The comScore study also found that a local search often results in action: 47% of people conducting a local search actually visited the merchant in Q2 2006 and 41% contacted the merchant online.
"Local search is experiencing strong growth..." Jack Flanagan of comScore said. "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."
As a fan of Yahoo! Local in addition to being exactly the type of user comScore describes (looking for phone numbers and addresses, restaurants etc.), I also search for other things locally, things like reviews on restaurants, stores that carry the tiles I'm looking for, or the next Tool concert. These things don't enter comScore's category, which means local search is probably even bigger than what comScore thinks.