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Greg Sterling
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February 11, 2004

Local Search Now 25% of Internet Commercial Activity

New survey conducted by The Kelsey Group and BizRate.com shows significant usage of search engines by online buyers for finding local business information.

Princeton, NJ (February 11, 2004) – The findings of a new survey of more than 5,000 online buyers conducted by The Kelsey Group and BizRate.com reveal that local commercial searches – those seeking merchants "near my home or work" – represent 25.1% of all searches being performed by online buyers, more than double the amount previously estimated by analysts.

"We had calculated the number of local commercial searches at about 10% of all searches being conducted," said Greg Sterling, director of The Kelsey Group's Digital Directories: Interactive Local Media Continuous Advisory Service. "This survey data suggests the number could be more than twice that figure."

Chuck Davis, President and CEO of BizRate.com said, "Consumers are increasingly using search for shopping related queries. In fact, over a third (36%) of all search activity is now shopping-based, defined as using search functionality to look for a merchant, research a purchase or make an online purchase. We expect to see shopping searches continue to increase.

Complete survey results will be presented at The Kelsey Group's upcoming conference, "Drilling Down on Local Search: Drivers & Barriers to SME Adoption," taking place March 30-31, at the Santa Clara Marriott, Santa Clara, California.

Survey highlights include:

  • Sixty-four percent of respondents said that search engines were the "main way" they find things on the Internet.
  • Commercial search results were rated as "good" or "excellent" by 80% of respondents.
  • Forty-four percent of survey respondents are performing more local commercial searches than one year ago.

All of the respondents to the online survey had made at least one online purchase in the past year. Respondents were mostly U.S. residents (93%) and generally equally distributed across all regions of the country; 59% were female and 41% were male. The total number of survey respondents was 5,582.

About 'Drilling Down on Local Search'
"Drilling Down on Local Search" will feature keynote addresses from Briggs Ferguson, CEO, Citysearch and Hilary Schneider, President & CEO, Knight Ridder Digital, as well as speaker participation from Advertising.com, America Online, Ask Jeeves, BellSouth IntelliVentures, CBS MarketWatch, Citysearch, comScore Networks, Dex Media, FindWhat.com, Google, iCrossing, InfoSpace, Ingenio, Lead Logic, LookSmart, Overture, SEMPO, SEO Research, SME Global Solutions, SMG Directory Marketing, Switchboard, TransWestern Publishing, Verizon, Wahlstrom Interactive, WebAdvantage.net, WebMama and Yahoo! For more information, contact The Kelsey Group by phone at (609) 921-7200 Ext. 10, by e-mail at [email protected], or visit www.kelseygroup.com/ddilm2004/.

About BizRate.com
Founded in 1996, BizRate.com is the largest, fastest and most accurate shopping search engines on the Web. With an index of over 30 million product offers from more than 40,000 stores, BizRate.com uses ShopRankTM, a proprietary shopping search algorithm, to produce the industry's most relevant search results by weighing price, popularity and availability of products, against the reputations of merchants that sell them. At the heart of ShopRankTM are BizRate.com's signature merchant and product ratings, collected from more than one million online buyers each month, making them the most reliable ratings on the Web. Every week, the BizRate.com shopping search engine prepares millions of shoppers to make smarter, more confident purchases and sends them directly to the checkout page of thousands of online merchants.

About The Kelsey Group
The Kelsey Group is the leading provider of strategic research and analysis, data and competitive metrics on Yellow Pages, electronic directories, small-business advertising and local search. Beginning in 1986, the company has built a reputation as the leading analyst firm covering the directory publishing community, providing advisory (The Kelsey Report® and Interactive Local Media), publishing (Global Yellow Pages™ and Local Media Journal™), consulting (more than 300 individual assignments) and conference services (60 events).

For more information contact:

Eileen Pacheco
(781) 556-1026
[email protected]

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