30% of Local Search Are Mobile and Facebook Launches an Updated for Nearby app

Local search provider YP (Yellow Pages) has released a report analyzing local search results for 2012. The data analyzed was from a huge volume of queries on its advertising network, its mobile site and apps, and the PC Website.  The report says that the mobile search volume of YP is at 30%. The Yellow Page Network, by definition, is comprised of local search queries. The top search categories and search growth categories are below:

The report also contained the “most clicked” categories of 2012, ranked by number of clicks:

  1. Restaurants
  2. Auto Parts
  3. Building Contractors
  4. Physicians & Surgeons
  5. Legal Services
  6. Auto Repair and Service
  7. Pet & Animal Service
  8. Real Estate
  9. Automobile Sales
  10. Financial Services

In another development in local search, Facebook has become a new player in local search for mobile devices. The company is updating the “Nearby” search feature in its iOS and Android apps

The Nearby app from Facebook used to be a way to track where your friends had checked-in. Now the Nearby app will still show you where your friends have checked-in and it will also show you nearby businesses and other places ranked by various criteria. You’ll be able to search or browse to find local businesses by name or by category. This change is designed to make the Nearby app as a go-to source for local information in selected categories. Local search results will be ranked according to star ratings, check-ins, Likes, recommendations and will be filtered by feedback from members of your network. If there is no feedback from your Facebook network, results will be ranked based on the general Facebook interaction with that business.

Bottom Line:  Local search and mobile search volume are growing, and especially if your business is in the ranked verticals outlined in the report above, extra care must be given in 2013 to promoting your Facebook Network to increase local search exposure on Nearby app and making sure that your site is optimized for local search.

Eric Van Cleave is a Partner in Zenergy Works, and SEO Company in Santa Rosa, California.

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