During the pandemic, consumers made fewer local searches, and local search advertising dropped dramatically.
Some formats, such as local inventory ads and Google Map Ads, dropped between 75% and 100% in Q2, and they have still not fully recovered, according to Merkle data published in October.
Several factors should lead to a recovery in local search in 2021. First, the mobile search market should be strong. We expect US mobile search ad spending to increase by 22.4% to $44.32 billion. Second, as lockdowns lift and consumers begin shopping again, they will look for alternatives—most likely nearby (or online).