Local search is growing, according to an article on ZDNet.com, and there's good news for Yahoo! -- Google doesn't own half or even a third of the market space. In fact, according to comScore's July statistics, the two search engine giants are in a pretty tight race with Google having a slight .6% lead over Yahoo!
That should be some much needed good news for Yahoo! Especially now that "Local Search" has grown over 43% over last year. What is of even more of an interesting note, is how users are utilizing local search. The majority are actually searching for things like restaraunts, activities and amusement parks - not business services.
Microsoft lags behind at 12.3% of the market-share. With Google and Yahoo! running neck and neck in Local Search, Microsoft Live has a lot of work to do in this arena to catch up, something I don't think even the launch of IE7 can help them with.
If you are a search marketer that focuses on small businesses, you should already be paying attention to the local search offerings from the major search engines in both paid (ppc) search by geo targeting, and with natural search optimization (nso/seo) by ensuring your geographical areas your clients need to hit are optimized within your site. Local search is growing and searchers are becoming more savvy to how to use it.