Bizwiki Blog

It’s Official – Web Overtakes Print for Local Search Queries

A new study of 3000 US consumers puts local search at the top of the charts for ways people use to find local business information.

TMP Direction Marketing’s Local Search Usage Study confirms that in 2008 the web comes out ahead of print for local business information searches. Last year’s study showed printed phone directories as having a slightly larger following with 33% of respondents citing print as their first point of call for local information and the web following closely behind at 30%.

This year the tables have turned and search engines top the list at 31% with printed directories falling to 30%. It’s a close race, but as Screenwerk’s Greg Stirling puts it, we have now passed the tipping point. I wholeheartedly agree with Greg’s comment that there will be differences in the web/print usage depending on the category and market but the trend is definitely moving towards the richer data consumers can find online. Printed directories simply can’t provide reviews, opening hours, product and service details in the same way that online local directories can.

What this means to local businesses is that it’s now essential to have a good local search presence. A listing on Google Local, Bizwiki (and the sites Bizwiki powers) and other free online business directories and local search sites help to put your details in front of your potential customers. The good news is that, unlike some of the print directories, Bizwiki is free and you’re not limited to just a phone number and address. And Bizwiki also saves you time by placing your listing on not just the one (albeit fantastic!) site, Bizwiki also powers other major local search sites such as, and British Services as well as industry specific verticals such as BuilderNet.

Have you signed up for your free listing?

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3 Comments so far

  1. Jenny GG on October 13th, 2008

    Correct me if I am wrong, but on reading your blog and following through to the original article, it sounds to me like its not a small margin but a gaping chasm between Print and the Web.

    If people are doing their Local Search on Search Engines (31%) Internet Yellow Pages Sites (19%) and Local Search Sites (11%) and the printed books are getting only 30%, thats 61% of searches being done on the Web vs just 30% in the Books.

    The web isn’t 1% ahead, its more than double! They have just made it look smaller by splitting web traffic into smaller categories so that the book publishers don’t leap from their buildings.

    Btw where do you classify Bizwiki in all that – is it a Search Engine, a Yellow Page site or a Local Search Site?

  2. Teresha on October 14th, 2008

    Hi Jenny, thanks for the comment. I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment, when taken as a whole the web has overtaken traditional print media by far more than would appear in first glance. We are in fact working on a post about that very point; the tipping point was passed longer ago than even this Study indicates, and the difference in usage is far larger when the three forms of web traffic they quote are combined.

    As far as where Bizwiki fits into all this, its possible that sites like ours prove that these are artificial distinctions – Bizwiki is an internet ‘Yellow-page-style-site’* and Local Search site with in-house developed search engine technology.

    What the site is depends on how each visitor uses it, so from what we have seen the majority would say a Local Search and information site and I’d be happy to call it that.

    One thing that is certain is that these are exciting times to be involved in the online local information market.

    *sorry about the inverted commas, but Yellow Pages is a trademark in the UK.

  3. Mark on April 6th, 2009

    The internet is a far better way to look for local businesses.
    I think local offline businesses that have not looked at the internet for businesses will struggle.

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