According to a recent survey by TMP Directional Marketing, search engines have passed Yellow Pages as the first source Americans go to for information on local businesses.
Overall Americans are almost twice as likely to start with online resources when researching local businesses than offline.
Despite the shift to online, Yellow Pages and other local print directories are still valued by consumers. 86% of those surveyed have a print directory in their home and 90% of those consider it a valuable source of local business information.
Mobile search also continues to grow. The survey reports 20% of consumers with Internet capable cell phones have used mobile search to access information on local businesses.
With smartphone penetration rapidly growing (T-Mobile released the first phone using Google's Android operating system today) the local web will become an increasingly important source of information on local businesses.