Enquiro commented recently that Local Search is growing and improving in features and functionality. Despite the cool features such as satellite imagery, movable maps and mobile phone gateways, I find Local Search severely lacking because the results aren’t consistently good. For example, try searching Google Local for web design company near Madison, WI (under the Find businesses link). The top result is “Cookies by Design”, a company that sells cookie gifts. That’s followed by “Covance”, a drug research lab. There are even 2 “Best Buy” locations listed in the top 10. Not exactly relevant results! Where is Netconcepts? Where is Netphoria? Where are the other big web agencies in Madison? Not one of them is listed in the top 10. In their article, Enquiro offers the hypothetical scenario of needing to get to the hospital in a hurry and using Local Search to do it. Heh, I don’t know about you but I certainly wouldn’t bet my life on Google Local to point me to the nearest hospital! (e.g. search Google Local for hospital near Madison, WI and the #1 result is “Cancer Connect Resource”) It’ll be fun to see Local Search enhancements like traffic reports via cell phone, but it doesn’t really matter a great deal until the relevancy and ranking algorithms get overhauled.
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