ComScore Reports 14% Growth for Mobile Local Search

ComScore released a report today with the Yellow Pages Association, showing that mobile local search monthly users now total 17.3 million, a 14 percent year-over-year increase.

This outpaced overall mobile Web and application use, which grew by 10 percent during the same period. ComScore and the YPA also point out that it outpaced the growth in desktop local search users.

Qualitatively speaking, mobile also attracts more desirable consumer segments, skewing younger and wealthier. Specifically the report showed that 58 percent of mobile local searchers are age 34 or younger, and over half have household incomes greater than $75,000.

Also interesting was a look at the prevalence of mobile Web versus apps. When it comes to mobile local searches, a greater number (10.8 million) are happening through the mobile Web browser. But app use is growing much faster — at about 2x the rate of the mobile Web.

ComScore’s methodology involves counting searches that take place on Internet Yellow Pages sites and other specifically local search sites (i.e., Local.com). It doesn’t, however, count searches taking place on Google that have explicit local intent (i.e., “restaurant, San Francisco”).

These lines are blurring, especially in mobile where a great deal more searches have local intent. Google says about a third of mobile searches are local, compared with (our estimation of) about 10 percent of desktop searches that are local. But the main point is that search engines should be included to get a more accurate picture of overall local search.

But these numbers are still revealing as a sample, and clearly affirm what we expect to be true: Local search and purchase intent are greater on the mobile device (and growing much faster) than on the more broadly used desktop Internet.

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