Google: 40% of Mobile Searches Local

I’m not at TechCrunch Disrupt in New York, but several tweets coming out of the event indicate the Google’s Doyenne of Local, Marissa Mayer, reiterated on stage there that 20% of PC searches are related to location.

However, she also introduced a new number into the discussion, saying that local searches constitute 40% of all mobile searches (Microsoft has said this number is 53%). This figure appears to replace an earlier 33% or “one-third of mobile searches are local” that was repeatedly mentioned by Google executives including Eric Schmidt.

But what do these numbers actually mean in terms of real volumes?

On the PC, 20% means about 2.2 billion queries in the US each month have a local intent. (The number is conservative.)

It’s somewhat harder to do the mobile calculation because no third party like comScore is reporting on total mobile query volumes. And yet we can still do some “back of the envelope math” using the totality of data available to us. (Drum roll please.)

Dan Miller and I broadly estimated that Google mobile searches (which are growing) are now between about 1.9 and 2.4 billion queries each month in the US. From that base we calculated that Google sees approximately 650 million to 795 million local-mobile queries each month.

This was before the 40% number was made public.

Using the same topline figures, a straight 40% calculation puts the number of monthly local-mobile queries between about 760 million and 960 million. Those numbers “feel” high — the first set of numbers above feel more accurate to me — but it’s a bunch of guesswork at this point.

I’m inviting Google to jump in and help clarify.

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One Response to “Google: 40% of Mobile Searches Local”

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  2. Brian Mayer says at

    Google is moving more and more to voice search. The app that comes pre-installed on Android phones allows you to say the same of a local business and it usually defaults to the Google Places profile and the number can be clicked from the screen.

    The idea of using a phone book is becoming as crazy as heating up your dinner in the oven.

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