Everyone is talking Local Search. Indeed Michael Gray has over 20 interviews with SEO experts and they’re all discussing Local Search. Google too seems to have the same fixation and has now put a Local OneBox on all searches that appear to be local, as Mike Blumenthal observed.
Matt McGee points out that this approach doesn’t seem to work out too well in many cases. Local Search may be ‘top of the mind’ but it’s also top of the SERPs pushing the regular results almost ‘below the fold’. Here on the left you can see an example of this. A search for Industrial Design Montreal produces only 3 names within the Local OneBox. That is hardly likely to satisfy most searchers in a field where Montreal has so much to offer.
Of course the real lucrative battlefield for Local Search will be on all those mobile devices. Perhaps a different use of the screen real estate may be even more appropriate there.