Google Trounces Other Local Search Providers In UK — Study

Google has the most complete and accurate local search database in the UK, according to data and analytics firm Implied Intelligence. Previously we’ve published comparable US reports by the company:

In these earlier US tests, yellow pages sites (i.e., Superpages) and Bing beat Google for completeness and data quality. However in the UK Google comes out on top.

To conduct the test (performed in May) the firm created a sample of 1,400 local business records. Each of these local businesses had websites. Listings were “hand checked” and verified. All the records included a name, address, telephone number and additional attributes (e.g., hours of operation). The test only included independent local businesses; franchises or chain stores were excluded.

Implied Intelligence scored each of the directory and local sites on a scale of 1 (worst) to 5 (best) according to the following criteria:

  • Record coverage
  • Number of duplicates
  • Phone errors
  • Address errors
  • Coverage re homepage URL
  • Accuracy re homepage URL
  • Number of records with opening hours
  • Number of records with additional information

Google was the site that offered the highest percentage of matches with the Implied Intelligence database. However it only had 58.8 percent of the 1,400 listings. Next best in coverage were and then Hotfrog. Google, Yell/hibu and Bing had the best URL coverage. The directory with the highest percentage of incorrect phone numbers was The Phone Book from BT (a carrier). And the site that had more rich content (beyond reviews or check-ins) than any other was Yelp, followed by Hotfrog.

The following is the fina ranking of UK local search sites (overall averages) based on the Implied Intelligence criteria and analysis:

Related Entries

Related Topics: Channel: Local | Google: Maps & Local | Search Engines: Maps & Local Search Engines | Search Engines: Outside USA | Stats: General | Stats: Relevancy | Top News


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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  • Jeremy Rivera

    Do you think that the change to Local+ was a helpful change for accuracy in Google’s Local efforts?


    I think Google will always remain as number one.

  • Nitesh Ahir

    It’s nice to heard that the google will most accurate search sites in UK.

    Google will always be try to give best result. And yes i agree with the TMCARDS google will always remain number one.

  • Robert Duckers

    Not only most accurate, but also least-likely to cold-call and try and upsell to you…

  • Zhelinrentice Scott

    Great information. Thank you Search engine land!

  • Kaushal Shah

    Google should rock in other country also because we all Google map functionality of it, even if there are other maps avoidable online but people prefer Google map like Google Search. 

  • Sanket Patel

    I don’t think that the change to Local+ was helpful for change accuracy of google’s local effort because there is no consistency when it comes to Google+ Local showing you local results. 

  • Nathaniel Bailey

    The change to Local+ was nothing but an attempt to get more companies to use Google+ IMHO. All it did for listings was change the look of them by changing from the old Local theme to the Google+ theme so google can make it all look the same.

  • Mahendra Varma

    Google is always at the top but but it is losing the share in local market and local listing, as many of the search engines coming with accurate search results.

  • daveintheuk

    How do Google achieve such high accuracy? Here is a theory: Presumably using aggregate data from other sites hovered up during their crawls. Other companies can’t do this as any local site with its salt prohibits wholesale automated queries/scraping of their data and will spot if a competitor does so – and it will all end up in court. Google obviously has to crawl sites, and presumably will have happily justified using the data they’ve scraped to build a competing as being “what users want” or one of the other phrase that they trot out to defend copyright violations/anticompetitive business practices. Of course, this is just a theory and I am sure Google has paid for or otherwise legitimately obtained the data it is using.

    Good for users? To a point – but as usual Google takes it too far by giving massive prominence to their +Local pages, serving up super-thin page with just the barest of details over more detailed, useful pages from the likes of those listed in the table above… and once again we end up with users being shielded from discovering richer, better content.

  • Richard Vaughan

    Google buys the data from some of the sites below them in that list.

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