Good piece on how Google and Yahoo differ in their approach to local search.
I think that there is a significant difference from when one wants to search for a research paper on World War II, and when one searches for an Italian restaurant in D.C.
In the former, you want a pretty wide swathe to ensure that you aren’t missing something or you are trying to expand your investigation. In the latter, you want to know what Italian restaurants are out there, where they are, how much they cost, and whether they are right for you. Locally, precision is key.