Graphs are so 1999. Today, it’s all about the infographic -- the busy composite images with lots of metrics that simultaneously cater to my ADD and lust of for semi-useful details. Local search provider, Localeze, has  published a new infographic that details the growth of local search.

Search a Little Closer to Home

Search has become ubiquitous; it the primary tool we use to navigate efficiently on the Internet’s information super highway. According to Localeze, search has become even more tied to geography than even the corny “information super highway” metaphor implies.
The infographic, based on data from comScore’s Internet usage study in December 2011, shows how location is influencing search behavior. Several interesting statistics were revealed in data collected from 4,000 survey respondents and 1 million consumers who agreed to have their online searches tracked by comScore:

  • 61% of smart users search for local information from their device while on-the-go
  • 49% of mobile users use apps for local search
  • 67% increase in social local business search since 2010 -- consumers are increasingly using social media content to help them select local businesses
  • 63% of local searchers on social media were more likely to use a business that had a social media identity
  • 61% consider local search results to be more relevant (vs. 10% of paid search results) -- 58% consider local search results to be more trustworthy (vs. 9% of paid search results)

The data also showed that dining, shopping and medical facilities were the most popular reasons for local searches.

The Evolution of Search

Although this infographic is focused on location, the addition of geography as search modifier is really just a single component of a larger trend. Search technology is continuing to advance in an effort to understand what we, humans, really mean when we type in a phrase. From key words to image searches and semantic technology, it’s all about enabling machines to infer meaning and find the information that we are seeking faster.

If you are speaking to a friend, it's not difficult for them to understand that if you are in New York and ask for an Italian restaurant, you expect one in the city, not one in Italy. Friends will also recommend places you might like based on what they know about you. Sophisticated algorithms including attributes such as location, previous searches and your social media connections help machines get closer to what comes naturally to even the simplest human.