Wot No Google Local Search

Wot No
Local Search

The character on the right appeared in the most unusual places during Word War II asking similar very basic questions. You might have called him Kilroy if you are in the US or Chad if you are in the UK.

The comment is particularly surprising currently since there is a great deal of discussion and concern about Google Local Search and how it works.  You may therefore be a little surprised to find that it does not exist.  It is widely acknowledged that providing local results when people search for stores or suppliers is very important.  Not least because you can then show relevant advertising close to the point of purchase decision.

It is even more surprising because the opposition does provide local search facilities.  Just type in local.yahoo.com and you will be shown the following search screen.

local yahoo

It is very similar to the format for a Yellow Pages search for local suppliers.  It would seem to be the natural way to help people find what they are looking for in their neighbourhood.

With Microsoft’s new entrant Bing, you can also arrive at a somewhat minimal local search page by typing in local.bing.com.  This is presumably a work in progress since it is somewhat sparse and even enigmatic.


Now try to get a Google Local Search by typing local.google.com and you are in for a disappointment.  Here is what you see. 


The word local does not appear at all.  Google has decided that you really preferred to do a search among their Maps.  Indeed it is impossible to find a link to Local Search on any of the desktop PC search pages.

Google has accepted the much bigger challenge of trying to guess in the Universal Search Page whether or not you may wish to be seeing local results.  If Google guesses this is so, then towards the top of the search results they will show a block of local services that may fit your search.  Why they have gone this route, only they can say.

local google results

The only place you can find a link to Local Search is on the Mobile Search Results web page as shown on the right. Even then, you are just served up a list of local results without any opportunity to give a more precise indication of where you are located. Given the interest in Local Search and the need to get it right, this guessing on the part of Google hardly seems adequate, since it is not very reliable. Perhaps it is time for Google to follow the others and provide the obvious way for people to do Local Searches.

5 thoughts on “Wot No Google Local Search”

  1. I’ve heard many SEO say that Local search is where SEO in general was in about 2003-2004. It’s relatively new, the algorithm is pretty basic, and the vast vast majority of businesses haven’t claimed their listing.

    I’m guessing Google’s approach is part marketing, part engineering.
    Marketing – If Local is still growing but is by no means mainstream, wouldn’t it make sense to show the 10 box (local results) as part of the normal SERPs? Folks will begin to notice that local is an option and then interact with those features more and more
    Engineering – Perhaps the prevailing thought by Google is that you shouldn’t need to have a separate local page? Maybe they feel that the user should just have to search and the algorithm should take it from there.

    Those are my thoughts. I’d be curious to see what others think.

  2. I would say that local search is not important to me. But not because I don’t use search engines but because everything could be found easily without “local” option. I know that for beginners and people who does not share ability to fluently run around the web this is quite difficulty. But everything you need to do is to write a word that makes your search local. If you’re from Canada write Canada. IF you’re from Florida, write Florida. And that is all local search you need. Want to eat dinner at restaurant with beef meals, writ dinner, Florida, beef – and there are your results! Very local. And there is nothing more you need.

  3. The country search works pretty good where I live and we don’t have that kind of local search functionality cause we are minority to search engines. But when I need to get the global or US search results it’s not so easy sometime cause google will always redirect me to counrty specific results. So I would like to have non local search sometimes to be more easy.

  4. What I noticed was when it’s my first time to open a browser in a day (with a homepage google.com), google will redirect me to it’s country specific url. In my case, I got redirected to google.com.ph where when used, I got results mostly from local. But I do have the option to turn back to google.com

    I think what google is trying to do is that if you are looking for country specific results, you must go to it’s country specific URLs. Else, you can use the keyword(s) + country on the search to give them a hint that you want local results.

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