A local search engine works by attempting to return relevant web pages associated with a specific geographical region or location. When the search engines index web pages, it can be helpful to attempt to automatically associate thoses pages, or sections of them with specific places or regions.
Ideally, for example, a web page about a restaurant in New York City should be associated with New York City. This connection can be easier to create if there is clearly a postal address or other geographical information on the page associated with that location and restuarant. But sometimes, a page will only contain a partial address or information that makes it difficult to to draw that connection between page and place.
Another issue that comes up in local search is which geographical region should the search engine show results from when there may be more than one location or region with the same name, or a similar name. For instance, If I want to order a pizza from one of the local pizzerias, I might search for Pizza Newark, but I probably won’t be happy with the Google local results which show Newark, New Jersey, pizza places, instead of Newark, Delaware.
Yes, I can add a zip code, or state name, and that will solve the problem. But I want to know why the local search chooses New Jersey. Is Newark New Jersey, the most important Newark in the world, or is there some other reason?