Local online search activity continues to grow in usage and intensity, according to a new survey, but the real action is in mobile local search, which jumped by a third this past year. This significant growth provides opportunities for local businesses to engage with potential customers via the mobile platform.

Local searches now account for 13 percent of all core search activity on top Web search portals, a new study by comScore released by the Local Search Association shows. Internet Yellow Pages (IYP) and local search sites also exhibited strong growth, with 5.6 billion local searches last year, a 15 percent increase.

Portal searchers were more likely to conduct local searches as part of broad information gathering, while primary IYP searchers reported conducting searches to look for contact information with specific products or services in mind.

It was the skyrocketing growth in mobile local search use, though,  that caught the researchers’ attention. In January 2011, 77.1 million mobile subscribers accessed local content on a mobile device, up 34 percent from the previous year.

An analysis of core mobile usage behaviors showed local content dominating, as mobile subscribers increasingly turn to their mobile phones for information on maps, weather, traffic, retail and other local content.

Read the full article here.

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