Local Results & Bing-

Posted on 23. Jul, 2009 by in All Local Search Posts, Internet Yellow Pages, Optimization


With all the recent hype on Bing, I thought I’d take a look at the local side. I was curious, how does Bing stack-up against Google and Yahoo! with respect to locally relevant content? How complete and accurate are their local SERPs?

Here are the results of my totally “unscientific” study:

I conducted 10 identical geo-modified local searches on Bing, Google and  Yahoo! (listed below). I then counted the number of individual relevant local businesses in the search results. I included local Maps listings, relevant PPC ads and organic results. I did notcount third-part aggregator or directory powered results from IYPs, Yelp, Service Master, etc. From a user’s perspective the more local content, the better the search result, no?

Not surprisingly, Google scored the highest with 133 results ( an average of 13.3 per-search). This is primarily due to their decision to include the “10 pack” of local business listings. Additionally, Google results consistently included more local business PPC ads. 

Bing however, came in second with 88 results, 25 more that Yahoo’s 63. Bing seems to include eight local business listings which was more helpful then Yahoo!’s average of three. Additionally, their organic results usually contained a fair amount of relevant local businesses. Yahoo! seems to include more third-party aggregators/directories in their organic results – which is not necessarily a bad thing, but can add additional “clicks” to the search process. Bing results have very few (if any) local business PPC ads.  

So, what’s this mean (other than I have no better way to spend my evenings)?  

  1. Opportunity. With more than 10% market share, every business should consider Bing PPC advertising. It’s wide open! Consequently, Google is the most competitive.
  2. Your businesses inclusion in the most important directories and databases can many times achieve first-page placement – take advantage of them.
  3. Google Maps – claim your local listing!  

If this exercise were conducted on each Search Engine’s “Local” or “Maps” page – the outcome may have been different. Bing’s results simply aggregate Yellowpages.com listings, many of which I find to be incomplete or outside my local geo. Google displays the superior map, but Yahoo! has a very well organized page complete with a ton of local content (like the City Guide). Users reviews can be easily read, and there’s a nice balance between organic and sponsored listings.

One last comment: in terms of data – the major IYP’s continue to provide the most accurate and complete local search results.       

The following 10 geo-modified searches were used:

  • books phoenix az
  • pizza brooklyn ny
  • hot water heater boston ma
  • used car austin tx
  • piano lessons chicago il
  • accountant orlando fl
  • beauty salon los angeles ca
  • chinese food philadelphia pa
  • self storage fargo nd
  • oil change denver co

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