Thanks to Matt Siltala for pointing me to the OrangeSoda blog, where they created a useful “infographic” with a bunch of local and mobile data on it. Here are some of the numbers presented, based on third-party data:
- Local search is growing at 50% per year. Based on that formula, they project 3.45 billion local searches per month by 2012
- Half of mobile Internet access is via mobile device
- The top access method for local information is now mobile devices (20.7 million users per month)
I agree with OrangeSoda that the local and local-mobile markets are big and compelling. And I’m as big a proponent of the idea that local is misunderstood and much larger than people recognize. However I have some slight disagreements with the specific figures presented.
Here’s my response to these numbers based on data I have or have developed:
- A relatively conservative estimate of the number of local searches on Google today is 2.9 billion per month. (This is based on search volumes reported by comScore and Google’s own estimates of local queries). So the OrangeSoda numbers are low
- There are 75 million mobile Internet users today vs. 214 million US PC Internet users (per comScore). That would mean, effectively, that the mobile Internet audience in the US is 35% of the size of total PC based Internet population
- There are many more local-mobile users than 20.7 million if you consider how many people have accessed maps or LBS info on their devices. It’s at least 50 million.
- Though local content on mobile devices figures more prominently than on the PC, there’s no chance that there’s more local action on mobile devices (by volume) than on the PC. Eventually it may be true however.