wingslevel - 2:39 pm on Mar 23, 2012 (gmt 0)
re: Venice - the local result set that i saw in my example query occupied a whopping 570 pixels of precious above the fold vertical real estate. The 3 premium ads got 300. Total vertical pixels (net of toolbars, navigation etc.) were 920, so, the "content" on the page got 50 pixels - we'll call it 6%. Think my pages would rank well with 6% of content above the fold?
Comparing the same query on bing, they served up 4 premium ads in 325 pixels, then the first organic serp complete with 8 sitelinks, followed by a small local map w/ 3 results which occupied 75 pixels, then 2 more complete organic results, then related searches, then a fourth complete organic result. To summarize, out of 980 available pixels, bing gave me 575 pixels of the content i was looking for we'll call it 60%. So, that is 10X the amount of content on the google SERP. Wow!
Try it yourselves.
@davedm, i am in NY metro area, so, i think there are definitely 7 local businesses that were relevant to my search.
In fairness, one of the 3 bing local results was for an electronics retailer - no possible relation to my food related search. Both engines, in my view have poor relevance on local results.