No. 1583
August 24th, 2012

Why You Shouldn’t Get Bent Out of Shape About Siri Rankings (Yet)

Siri, and by extension Apple Maps, is a hot topic these days.  With good reason.  Siri is such an awesome technology that even my Mom–who doesn’t even have a Google OR a Facebook OR a Twitter account–“made me” get her an iPhone 4S for Christmas 🙂  And all indications are that Apple Maps is going to be pretty darn slick.

But I think it’s important to take a step back and not fall victim to “shiny object syndrome,” as SEO’s (including your humble author) so often do.

Sadly, I see it happening in our industry already.  I realize that there’s plenty of value in being an early adopter as a marketer–and establishing yourself as an expert–in an up-and-coming niche early in the game.  But the number of questions I get, and chatter that I see, about Siri seems to be way out of proportion.

What should that proportion be?  My gut has said all along that the percentage of Siri searches compared to overall Local searches (the vast majority of which occur on Google properties) had to be less than 10.  But today I finally had some time to sit down, do some research, and come up with the actual percentage:

Siri represents somewhere around 4.875% of all Local searches. (And just 1.196% of ALL searches.)

How did I arrive at this number (please note that all numbers below are rounded off)?

  1. 20% of all desktop searches are Local
  2. 20% of all searches are Mobile
  3. 50% of all Mobile queries are Local
  4. 33% of smartphone users have iPhones (note: a small percentage of mobile search queries likely come from stupidphones, so if anything, this is an overestimate.)
  5. 50% of iPhone users own the iPhone 4S
  6. 87% of iPhone 4S owners use Siri at least once a month (note: if anything, this overestimates the number of Siri users who use it for Local searches)

Back to 3rd grade multiplication, .20 * .50 * .33 * .50 * .87 = .01436.  This means 1.4355% of all queries are Siri Local searches.  And since 30% of all queries are Local, we divide this number by .3 to arrive at .04875, or 4.875%–an aggressive estimate of Siri Local searches as a percentage of all Local Searches.

So, again, although for marketers, there’s plenty of value in establishing yourself as an expert in a technology that is bound to be a growing niche for a long, long time, the average iPhone-toting small business owner should not work herself into a frenzy if her rankings are subpar on Siri.  Not to mention that claiming your listings at Yelp and Localeze–the two primary data aggregators feeding Siri, possibly in addition to Acxiom and TomTom–is already a best practice.