Search Trends: “Near Me”

Location services use GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers to determine a device’s approximate location. This helps websites and apps present the most relevant information or features – from geofilters to surrounding businesses.

Your phone not only goes everywhere with you, but also knows everything around you. Mobile searches account for more than 77% of location-intent searches. People use location based searches to find restaurants, theatres, doctor’s offices and stores. The “near me” keywords include both brand keywords (“CVS near me”) and discovery keywords (“pharmacy near me”)

When comparing current search trends to 2014, the amount of location specific searches have increased dramatically. In order of search volume,

  • Shopping 370% YoY growth
  • Food/Beverage 396% YoY growth
  • Gas Stations 447% YoY growth
  • Pharmacy 127% YoY growth

When comparing current search trends to last year, these categories average a 32% YOY increase.

  • Shopping 27% YoY growth
  • Food/Beverage 43%  YoY growth
  • Gas Station 33% YoY growth
  • Pharmacy 24% YoY growth

It will be interesting to see how future developments may affect these trends – like online shopping and Google’s dedication to building its Maps app, especially for restaurants. Ultimately, people rely on their phone for location-relevant results, but where they go depends on proximity, visibility and likability.