Mar 25, 2012
People in the US are currently using smartphones to perform 30.7 billion local online searches and desktops to do 61.6 billion searches. Figures from BIA/Kelsey revealed that the number of local searches using PCs would increase at a slower rate while local searches using mobile devices will climb steeply in the next few years. By 2015, mobile searches will reach 84 billion compared to 85.9 billion for PCs. In 2016, people will perform 113.4 billion searches from mobiles while only using PCs for 85.6 billion searches. According to Google, smartphones account for at least 40% of the local search queries while local search queries using desktops comprise about 20% of total queries.
BIA/Kelsey used Google’s 20% figure to estimate that in March 2012, people in the US used desktops for nearly 3.7 billion local searches. Assuming that the rate hovers close to 3.7 billion for 12 months, there will be 44 billion searches using PCs by the end of 2012.
About 50% of the 250 million mobile subscribers in the US own Smartphones, and nearly 40% of Smartphone owners perform at least 20 mobile searches monthly. If 40% of the estimated 30 billion annual mobile searches are local, then there will be about 12 billion local searches yearly. The figure will likely reach 45 billion local searches using mobile if there will be a steady growth in Smartphone penetration and monthly mobile searches per user. Mobile local searches will eventually be equal to desktop searches barring any dramatic surge in using desktop for local searches.
More than half of US mobile consumers responding to the 5th Local Search Study said that they sometimes use apps for local search. Google Maps is the most popular app among mobile phone and tablet owners searching for local businesses while Yahoo came in at second place.