Search-based online advertising network Chitika reported, based on a “sample of more than 24 million impressions” that included PC and mobile queries, “users on mobile devices are 45% more likely to enter a local query than users on non-mobile devices.” These data are drawn from the company’s network.
Last week Chitika announced a new Local Ad Exchange, which includes mobile.
I exchanged emails with Chitika Research Director Daniel Ruby to get more perspective and clarity about what these numbers mean. The company didn’t want to release specific numbers or comparative query volumes at this time. He did clarify that non-local queries (PC and mobile) have a significant volume advantage vs. local queries at this point.
Ruby said in his post about the data, “The fact that mobile users execute more locally-oriented searches per capita than non-mobile users would seem to highlight mobile’s importance to local publishers.”
Before people run off and say something like “45% of mobile search queries are local,” let’s be clear that these data simply argue mobile users are more inclined to conduct local searches vs. PC users. This is something that we collectively recognize and understand as an intuitive and anecdotal matter.
In discussing and counting local vs. non-local search queries, there’s a fundamental problem of how one defines a “local query.” But that’s a much longer discussion.
Recently Google said that 20 percent of searches on Google.com are related to location. That translates into well over 2 billion queries per month. But it’s really just a thoughtful (and conservative) estimate by the company.
In mobile the percentage of queries that carry a local intent is higher and going to vary by category. Yelp previously said that 27 percent of the company’s search query volume was coming from the company’s iPhone application.