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The Battle for Local Search – Bing and Yelp VS Google+ and Zagat

Local SEO just keeps getting more competitive. First, Google+ introduced Local and combined it with Zagat to provide a more in-depth local search interface.

Then late last week, Bing added Yelp reviews to its local search results to combat the product on offer from its competitor.

Now it’s been reported that Bing is one of the most accurate providers of local search data, tying with Yellow Pages in a recent study. Google Maps/+Local was just off the pace.

With both Bing and Google going toe-to-toe in the battle for local search supremacy, we’re taking a quick look at which search engine provides the best user experience.

Reviews – Google+ Local

Zagat and Yelp go head to head. Both are quite comprehensive in terms of information, but the aesthetic simplicity of Google+ Local ensures it sits on top. The whole look is cleaner and the reviews/ratings features are combined more seamlessly into the page.

movida google+ local listing

Zagat’s summary of reviews is a great addition, and one of the reasons Google+ Local is above its counterpart. It drags in quotes from each review to make up a complete summary of the business:

zagat review exmaple

Bing and Yelps proposed setup doesn’t offer such streamlined appeal (we couldn’t find a live example, which is why we’ve utilised the image below from this article):

bing and yelp combined

Accuracy of data – Bing Local

As outlined in the report linked in our introduction, Bing has improved the accuracy of information provided on its listings. When compared to the same study conducted in April, Bing was the biggest improver, outlining how much effort it is putting into improving local search.

It’s also important to note that Yelp was included in the same study (ranking 8th overall). Now that the two have combined forces, Bing Local search should see even more improvement. The recent introduction of +Local will ensure that Google stays well in the race, but right now, Bing takes the chocolates.

Usability – Google+ Local

Google+ Local has bought a new level of usability and functionality to local search results. It’s cleaner and more inviting to explore, meaning more customers will take in more information about your business.

Bing’s listings are reminiscent of Google’s old approach. Will we see a change now Yelp is on board? Early signs don’t show much, but I’d watch this space.

Available in Australia? Only Google+ Local

The real clincher in this argument (even though Google+ Local is 2-1 up) is the fact that Google+ Local is ready to use in Australia. Bing’s Local search, complete with Yelp reviews, is only available in the US, meaning it’ll have little impact on the online presence of Australian businesses.

However, this doesn’t mean that you should disregard Bing Local search entirely. This should serve as a warning for the future – these functions could be rolled out in Australia soon, so ensure your business live and operational now!

If you are struggling with your local search presence, we can tailor a strategy for you

Google+ Local, Bing Local – we can see how it all gets too much! roi.com.au has a specialised team of local search experts that can provide assistance and advice on how to best structure your local search campaign. It’s the way to go, so contact us today to see how we can help you grow online.

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