Today Google rolled out a new search feature called Google Local with little fanfare but a lot of bang. Google local, which is still in beta, allows you to search for particular keywords and apply that search to a specific geographic location.
For example, if you wanted to find a book store in your neighborhood, you could search for book store and your zip code. This would return a list of book stores, but at the top you will notice a section of bookstores that are in the that particular zip code.
You may not have noticed this new addition because it is integrated directly into the Google search engine like so many of its other features. It works exactly as their other integrated features such as the calculator, conversion tools, and phone book by showing the normal search results and also the integrated feature's results at the very top.
This addition to Google was not unexpected as Yahoo just recently released their Smartview search feature which enhances the Yahoo service, Yahoo! Maps, by not only showing a map of the location entered, but showing local services to that area.
When comparing both search engine's local features, Yahoo's technology is definitely in the lead. Yahoo will deliver a much greater variety of results compared to Google and actually place the location of these results on the map your are viewing. Google Local, on the other hand, seems to have some peculiar behavior when doing local searches. If I do a Google local search for pizza in Manhattan it return no local results, yet if I do a search for pizza in NYC, it returns results. Google also does not recognize area codes when doing local searches which should be an integral part of this feature. Granted Google Local is still in beta, but it looks like they have some catch-up on their hands if they want to compete with Yahoo's SmartView technology.
Below I have links to examples of using Google Local and Yahoo SmartView:
Edited by Scarlett, 03 November 2005 - 03:45 PM.