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Can someone point me to a market overview of local search in the UK, Germany and France, including Yellow Pages websites?
Google local uses data from Yell and does not add anything major to the search experience apart from maps and directions that you could find easily elsewhere. Their attempts to match businesses to URLs are poor with many rubbish directories appearing too many times.
Yell is spending loads on TV adverts and has the dominant position due to Yell.com being splashed all over the UK Yellow Pages print directories for years. The data is comprehensive but as they accept advertising it can be the case that you have to wade through many pages of sponsored listings before getting to the full data.
Thomson Local is the other player in the UK, they have ThomsonLocal.com and Webfinder.com. The traffic levels are low but they are trying to gain ground. Webfinder is a PPC engine that has 550 people on the ground selling it (along with print and other online thomson products). Webfinder has a distribution deal with Google so can re-sell Google Ads to purchasers of their fixed fee (read 50p a click) service.
MSN local is a joke.
The UK local offerings are a fair bit behind the US so now is a good time to pick a niche and set to work.
Not exhaustive by any means, but as good as I get on a warm afternoon! Hopefully, somebody else can suggest some French & German alternatives...