Over 60 per cent of US internet users searched for local information in July, new figures reveal.
Statistics released by web monitoring firm comScore show that 63 per cent of US internet users, representing 109 million people, searched for local information during July.
The numbers represent a 43 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2005.
Four out of 10 people conducting a local search were looking for something in their home area, as opposed to tracking down information on businesses in areas they intended to visit.
Among those searching in their home area, 59 per cent indicated that they were searching for a restaurant, or something related to entertainment such as a cinema, theme park or sightseeing attraction.
Another 52 per cent were searching specifically for a business phone number or address. Two out of five local searchers were looking for information on a local service in their home area, including car rental office, dry cleaner or lawyer.
During the second quarter of 2006, 47 per cent of local searchers visited a local seller as a result of their search activity, while 41 per cent made contact via traditional methods.
More than one third made contact online as a result of conducting a local area search.
"Local search is experiencing strong growth as more consumers adapt to the 'always on' nature of their broadband connection, which enables them to quickly find information on local businesses," said Jack Flanagan, executive vice president of comScore Media Metrix.
"With approximately 849 million local searches conducted by Americans in July, local advertisers have a sizeable market that can be reached through leading search sites."
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