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Web Ousts Print Yellow Pages At Top Local Shopping Tool

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A telephone survey has found that 70 percent of US households now use the internet -- and in particular search engines -- for information when shopping locally for products and services. It makes the internet tied with newspapers as the leading medium used to seek products and services locally. Conducted by the Kelsey Group and ConStat, it involved 500 respondents across the US.

What's more remarkable is that when a similar survey was conducted in October 2003, the internet ranked third at 60 percent usage, behind the top choice of print yellow pages (75 percent) and then newspapers (73 percent). Just over a year later, print yellow pages dropped to the second place spot -- and usage was down significantly, at 62 percent.

However, Neal Polachek from Kelsey highlighted to me an important point. The figures only show usage, not frequency of use. In other words, perhaps fewer use print yellow pages, but those that do could perhaps use them a lot more.

Search engines saw a marked rise. When considered separately from the internet as a whole, 55 percent said they use them for local needs, up from 47 percent when the survey was last done.

Here's a look at leading media said to be used by those over the course of a year to seek products and services in a local area:

Media Used

Oct. 2003

Feb. 2005

Point Change





Net: Internet Media




Printed Yellow Pages




Search Engines




More details are explained in this press release about the study.

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