By now we all get that local anything online is important. That fact is understood very well by the Internet industry because we see it play out first hand in percentage of searches with local intent and the mainstreaming of smartphones that will accelerate this growth.
As with most things, it’s important to have some numbers to back up the observational ‘gut feel’ we get when it comes to trends. BIA/Kelsey has put some numbers to this phenomenon and for the foreseeable future, local search revenues will ride the wave of this growing popularity.
Of course, this is continued good news for Google since they will take the lion’s share of that revenue. Rather than gripe about the rich getting richer, though, it is better to think about the commerce that will be facilitated by that advertising on Google. Railing against Google’s dominance in the search space is a waste of time and effort.
“Local search ad revenues hit an all-time high last year, driven primarily by better product integration across search engines, especially Google,” said Matt Booth, senior vice president and program director of BIA/Kelsey’s Interactive Local Media practice. “Revenues will continue to grow as better targeting, increased mobile usage and improving integration drive up local search activity.”
As for whether Google will still be as dominant in five years as it is today? I say it will be but maybe you have another view of that.
The BIA/Kelsey report (which is available Kelsey customers only) also showed the rise in local ad spending in all interactive areas. Based on these numbers search will represent about half of that spend so the expectation that social will take away money from search may have merit but it won’t end search’s influence in the market.
One interesting prognostication coming from the Kelsey report is that by 2015 30% of total searches will have local intent, which is up from the current industry standard quote of 20%.
Is this focus on local something you see happening as well? How does it impact your business or strategy if at all?