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Almost half of Yelp’s searches are now coming from mobile devices, the company announced today in its third-quarter 2012 earnings report.

More than 8 million people are using Yelp’s mobile apps on their phones and tablets, with 45 percent of searches coming from mobile. In the company’s last quarterly report, the company said 7.2 million people were accessing the service via mobile devices — so it has increased its mobile user base by about a million in a quarter.

Yelp’s integration with iOS 6 via Siri and Apple Maps surely has bumped usage of its service. But with more than 200 million people using iOS 6, we’d almost expect more people to be learning about and using Yelp.

On its conference call today, Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman said the company didn’t have any numbers to share that could specify how iOS 6 had increased Yelp engagement. (We wonder if that means the numbers simply didn’t look very good, so it’s waiting another quarter to share.)

“Those are certainly numbers we will take a look at,” Stoppelman said on the call. “iPhone users certainly are engaged, but I haven’t personally pulled the data and looked at it.”

Still, the company generally seems optimistic about the impact of mobile usage on its business.

“Mobile remains a top priority, and we expect it to be a key driver of engagement and success in the future,” Stoppelman said in the earnings report. “As we continue to build Yelp communities around the world and connect consumers with great local businesses, we further fulfill our mission to be the de facto local search engine.”

Here’s the company’s highlights section, including its mobile info:

New market expansion: Yelp continued to expand globally with the launches of Helsinki and Singapore. Singapore marks Yelp’s first entry point into Asia. As of the third quarter, there are 96 Yelp markets worldwide.

Yelp Mobile: Yelp mobile apps were used on approximately 8 million unique mobile devices on a monthly average basis for the third quarter and approximately 45% of all searches are now from our apps. We also redesigned business pages on the app to emphasize user engagement such as photos, tips and check-ins, putting mobile contribution opportunities front and center for the user.

Early momentum in Apple iOS 6: In September, Yelp branded content was integrated into Siri and the new Apple “Maps” application on iOS 6, with links that take users directly to the Yelp app.

Redesigned Homepage: Yelp launched its redesigned homepage, placing a greater emphasis on mobile activity from the user and his or her friends, including individual app activity and the user’s social graph.

Launch of gift certificates: Businesses can now sell gift certificates directly to consumers through their Yelp business profile, helping to turn existing customers into some of the best promoters.

Yelp shirt photo via sylvar/Flickr

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