News organizations looking for the next way to subsidize their existence would do well to look into local search. The annual growth of local search—like using an online Yellow Pages, or Yelp or Angie’s List—grew 58 percent last year, far outpacing overall US web searches, according to a study from the Yellow Pages Association (YPA).
Core web search in the US increased 21 percent year-over-year, to almost 137 billion searches; local search makes up about 15.7 billion of that total.
75 percent of the search keywords were non-branded (“restaurants,” “plumber,” not “Joe’s Kitchen”), meaning, the YPA says, that businesses should make sure they have an online presence that will pop up in search results while users are looking. What it really means is that online news orgs have to capitalize on these local searches rather than sending people to other sites to do their searching.