The buzz around the search community is Local Search and for good reason, the web is getting smaller, and by this I mean, the majority of people purchase products and services within a 15km radius of where they live.
That being said, last year, I profiled Google Local Canada and Word of Mouth Advertising, and really this post is not much
different other than I am looking at MSN.ca’s Local Search.
Once again from a local marketing perspective, most business owners tell me that “word-of-mouth” or “referral” advertising
is the most important form of advertising for them. What MSN.ca Local Search does is brings the address/phone number service directly to users who know the name of the business they are looking for.
Identical in principal to Google Local Search, now called Google Maps, MSN.ca presents their information in a different way with a little different mapping structure.
Compare the two services – “search performed is Calgary Dentists”
MSN.ca Local Search – Calgary
Googel Local Canada – Calgary
Why Different Results?
Here is where it gets interesting. If you think it is data, its not both of these services comes from YellowPages.ca, Canada’s Largest Online Commercial Directory.
The difference is how the data is presented is based on where the central location (as identified by each engine) of the City. From what I gather, MSN.ca is using more of a downtown location where Google Maps somewhere around 17th & 4th Street
as their starting location.
Not that it really matters, the power of local search is telling both engines what your current address so that it can cater results specifically to your location.
Don’t forget that YellowPages.ca has a very powerful local search function called Proximity
Search function as well that acts in the same manner.