Today the Yellow Pages Association released a new study based on Comscore data that shows an increase in local mobile usage, particularly as it affects the use of local directories. Here are some of the highlights:
- The number of mobile subscribers accessing business directories on a mobile phone increased 14 percent year-over-year to 17.3 million users in March 2010
- the number of people accessing business directories on a mobile device at least once per week increased more than 16 percent year-over-year to nearly five million in March 2010.
- 42 percent year-over-year growth in the number of mobile subscribers using apps to access business directories.
- On the non-mobile side – Searches on IYPs and portal sites increased 4 percent to 444 million in March 2010, or 5.3 billion annually
- Traffic to IYPs from web search sites increased three points from the first quarter of 2009 to the first quarter of 2010, to 44 percent of visits.
The YPA doesn’t break down the data by specific IYPs so it’s hard to tell how much of this growth is happening because traditional yellow pages players v. brash upstarts like Yelp, etc. Additionally it’s unclear if the growth in traffic to IYP sites is because of increased search volume, SEO, PPC or all of the above. So it’s hard to say why searches on IYPs and portal sites increased. Is it because they bought more traffic, changed their UIs, etc?
It’s interesting that there was a drop in affiliate referrals, but again without knowing how Comscore defines “affiliates” it’s hard to see what’s going on here.
That said, it’s no big surprise that local search and local mobile search is continuing to grow. More people are using smartphones, more local businesses are increasing their Web presences and more services are being created to improve the local search experience. All in all a good time to be in the local-mobile space.