I need a new suitcase. While I know of a great luggage store on the other side of town, I’d rather find a place closer to home. I just don’t know of any luggage stores in the neighborhood. Enter local search, which along with search personalization is the hot new search idea. Google has been doing local search for awhile, but in my opinion not very well. Not as well, anyway, as Yahoo’s Local Search appears to do, from what I have seen. Here’s why I like Yahoo’s local search better:

When I type in “luggage” and “Dallas, Texas 75229”, I get a listing of 32 possible businesses. I can click on a link and see a map of the results, and I can also refine my search to narrow or expand the distance to the business. You can also customize by category, rating (not really up and running yet), price, atmosphere, and other options). When you click on an individual result, you’ll see a detailed business listing, another map with that specific location, and an easy way to find ATMs, hotels, parking, public transportation, or restaurants in the area.

Chris Sherman has a lengthier review of the new search over at SearchDay.

Not to be outdone, Ask Jeeves has announced its intention to add local search and new smart search features, which are expected to debut next month.