Let’s look at two areas where search will play a role in winning new audience and their keystrokes: Local and Mobile search.
Here are how Microsoft, Yahoo and Google web property’s search are performing today.
Its been reported nearly 50% of searches are local in nature. Let’s see how Microsoft’s Live handles a local brand search for Verizon Wireless in New York, NY.
Live is able to locate Verizon Wireless stores in New York and provides five viewing options: Road, Aerial, Hybrid, Bird’s Eye and Traffic. Are their results relevant? Yes. Could we make our way to Verizon Wireless store or reach them by phone with the information Live provides? Yes.
With the Bird’s Eye view we may even be able to see what our destination looks like. Pretty cool.
Microsoft (US) Brand Search: Verizon Wireless New York, NY
Microsoft Live Verizon Wireless NY Road Map
Microsoft Live Verizon Wireless NY Hybrid Map
Microsoft Live Verizon Wireless NY Bird’s Eye Map
Microsoft Live Verizon Wireless NY Traffic Map
How does Live perform outside the United States? A search for HSBC in London yields similar results. This particular brand search result is for a location near Trafalgar Square. If you aren’t going to be able to stop by a bank branch in London today, you can still take in the sights.
Microsoft (UK) Brand Search: HSBC London, England
Microsoft HSBC London UK Bird’s Eye Map
Now let’s try the same searches in Yahoo. Yahoo offers similar results. The look and feel isn’t too much different from those we received from Microsoft.
Initially though, I had difficulty locating the results I was hoping to find. Eventually I did find them – must have been my error.
Our options for connecting with one of the stores include: Getting directions, Save for later, Send to phone and Write a review.
Yahoo (US) Brand Search: Verizon Wireless, New York, NY
Yahoo Verizon Wireless NY “Find a Business”
Yahoo Verizon Wireless New York
I can get the same type of UK map results from Yahoo however; I have to pull Yahoo’s UK web property up to get London results whereas with Microsoft I was able to get results from their US site.
Yahoo (UK) Brand Search: HSBC London, England
Yahoo HSBC UK Brand US Search
Yahoo HSBC UK London UK Search
Now, let’s run searches for the same terms in Google. Like Microsoft, Google returns five types of views albeit under different button terms: Map, Street, Traffic, Satellite and Terrain Views.
The look and feel of Google’s views seem more visually pleasing than both the Microsoft and Yahoo products, however my appraisal is subjective.
Microsoft’s search and map features seem to be evenly matched with Googles’ and beyond those of Yahoo’s. Microsoft’s “Bird’s Eye” view does appear to ahead of its counterpart – Google’s satellite view.
Google (US) Brand Search: Verizon Wireless New York, NY
Google Verizon Wireless NY Map View
Google Verizon Wireless NY Street View
Google Verizon Wireless Traffic View
Google Verizon Wireless NY Satellite View
Google Verizon Wireless Terrain View
Google offers only three viewing options in the UK at this time compared to Microsoft’s five, yet I can fetch the results from Google’s US property unlike with Yahoo.
Google (UK) Brand Search: HSBC, London England
Google US HSBC Brand Search London UK Map View
Overall Microsoft, Google and Yahoo each offer their version of both business and brand rich search results.
From what I can tell, businesses and brands have yet to scratch the surface so to speak when it comes to reaching their potential customers in this new geographically rich and fertile target marketing environment.