There are mainly 3 search engines that are more popularly known in the local market: Google, Yahoo and MSN. They are popular enough to have made common use of, and as a result, local businesses have been influenced by their localized search algorithms. Google is mostly known for its local search aspect, though it provides web search results for many general-purpose keywords. It is through this that searchers can connect to their preferred results, be it local or global. Google’s search algorithm is designed to be geographically adjusted, with regional balances checked to assure consistency of local searches. The regional algorithm was implemented to allow Google to provide more accurate results and to facilitate finding results within a designated region. The believed process is that sites that cater to a smaller area (often defined as a state, county, or region) are not as likely to appear within the top listings of a global search. As a result, regional businesses now have to submit their site to Google regional databases, Google maps, and numerous other smaller search engines. This allows the business to ensure that the site will be recognized by the regional networks.
Google’s universal search offers a similar opportunity for local businesses. However, while it offers the same universal search results as its international versions, it also provides links to relevant local results that are provided by the individual search engines. The links are provided under the search giant’s own Universal Search concept, which was created to provide users with a list of results that contain the types of information the user is searching for. Similarly, the results provided by Yahoo provide a list of results that are similar to the ones that are provided by Google, though not in the same order. They also provide a different order of results for similar keywords. Another difference is that the results are not in the same order when keywords are put into two different engines. Because of these differences in the local and global searches, it is best to take advantage of the keywords that are specific to the local market. This enables small businesses to reach out to their potential customers, even if larger global companies might be competing with them.