Google Local Stealing Directory Market Share Statistics Suggest
In May 2007, Google introduced a revolutionary search model known today as “Universal Search”. Beyond including traditional websites within the search index, Google would also now include, video, news articles, images and maps (Google Local results) all in an effort to provide users with a more robust experience. Over two years into the Universal Search model, Google has enhanced a number of the features – most notably changes within the Google Local or maps results. These local listings, generally displayed at the top of a page in what is known as the Google 10 box, could only initially be found by searchers when they looked for a product or service within a specific area; i.e. Restaurants San Diego. Today, however, Google’s effort to further localize search is causing a shift in the way we go about finding information. This is because Google now has the capability of displaying these local map results even when searchers enter general queries like “Restaurant”. Recent Google Trends statistics are showing that online directories are beginning to take a hit in terms of site visitors because searchers are finding information they need directly through Googles’ interactive local listings – not through directories.