I'd be interested in seeing comScore's criteria for defining what search query is "local" versus not. They don't go into a lot of details, but we can guess perhaps that the query must have a City Name or ZIP/Mail code included.
Here's comScore's actual press release for the report:
But, what if they're including stuff they shouldn't? For instance, "Boston's Pizza" is a chain restaurant in many states -- if a user searches for "Boston's Pizza" wanting to find their website, I'd guess they might be overcounting those queries as "local searches". Think of the many thousands of US city names, and you'll see that this accident could happen many times over.
If a user searches for the actor "Matt Dallas", or the singer, "Whitney Houston", I'd bet those queries are getting incorrectly counted by comScore as "local".
Does anyone know if they correct for this problem?
Likewise, there are cases where they could be undercounting. Do they have special community and neighborhood names identified as well? Ex: "Nob Hill Hotels", "Back Bay Restaurants", "Soho Art Galleries", "North End Clubs"
It'd be nice to see a few more details on how they perform the local designation.