I have attended many (many) Search Engine conferences. They are sometimes fascinating, sometimes dull, and on occasion soul crushingly boring. I especially enjoy the keynote sessions given by the great and the good of the Search world. What’s noticeably missing in many sessions is hard data. Understandably folks tend to play their cards close to their chests, but any nugget of real data is a refreshing change…getting hard data from the almighty (by which I of course mean Google®) is a rare and wonderful thing.
Then just the other day Google® came out with an announcement, almost casually, that 20% of all the Searches that they process are related to Local Search. I have heard the question “How much of search is Local?” debated any number of times and have heard numbers as small as 4% and as high as 40%. Clearly the pundits were throwing darts at a wall and giving their best guess. Then Google® put us all out of our misery and let the local search cat out of the bag…it’s 20%. According to a press release from Google® itself they state that “about the percentage of local searches is “20%”. This number is significantly higher than comScore’s estimate of 11-12% and to put it all in perspective that is 2.8 billion (yes, I said billion) local queries on Google® each month.
Is 20% a big number?…Well it’s a decent pay raise or a horrible inflation rate. In our world of local search 20% of the half a billion queries trafficked by Google is about 100 million queries per day or 2.8 billion (yes, I said billion) local queries on Google each month.
So now, at every Search conference I attend, every presenter (no matter how dull) will now have at least one amazing, heart stopping, startling statistic which validates the importance of everything we do. 20%…Wow!