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9/28/2006
04:18 PM
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Brief: Strong Growth Reported In Online Local Search

Google and Yahoo were neck-and-neck in market share, with Microsoft's sites a distant third.

The number of people performing online local searches rose 43 percent in July, with Google and Yahoo the most popular destination for people to look for products and services near the home or a locale they planned to visit, a market researcher said Thursday.

Fully, 63 percent of U.S. Internet users, or about 109 million people, conducted a local search in July, ComScore Networks said. Google and Yahoo were neck and neck in market share, with 29.8 percent and 29.2 percent, respectively.

A distant third was Microsoft sites, including MSN, with 12.3 percent of the market, followed by the Time Warner Network, 7.1 percent; and Verizon Communications 6.6 percent.

About four in 10 people using local search were looking for something in their home area, as opposed to a place they planned to visit, ComScore said. Among those searching near the home, 59 percent were looking for a restaurant or something else entertainment related, such as a theater or theme park. Another 52 percent were searching specifically for a business phone number or address.

People using local search were also likely to take action, ComScore said. In the second quarter, 41 percent of local searchers contacted a merchant offline, and 37 percent made contact online.

In total, U.S. online consumers conducted 849 million local searches in July, the firm said.

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