The Global Search continues for a great Local Search

Techcrunch reports that Insider Pages, a local search, has been aquired, probably for just a little more than it’s initial investments of something like 8.5 million.

For about 2 years now there’s been a huge amount of talk about how important local search will be to the search landscape, yet no local search really stands out as a great tool. Even Google’s local search leaves much to be desired and I think was recently listed as a Google project that has failed to live up to early expectations.

Perhaps part of the problem is that local information best rests in the hearts and minds and “word of mouth” of locals. It’s not clear to me that a critical mass of local “voices” is available yet to tell the local story, which is often more nuanced than, for example, the type of descriptive information that is easy to find.

For example it’s easy to map Chinese restaurants in Chicago, but hard to determine which one has the best Kung Pao chicken, let alone which of these restaurants are the best. For that, ideally, you’d be able to interact with locals who frequent Chinese restaurants in Chicago.

Yelp is having some success in Bay Area but I’m not convinced their “virtual+real social networking” model is scalable to the whole country.

So, the search for great local search continues.