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Google Rethinks Local Search

Google this week debuted "Place Search," which offers a new way to experience local search results, and, according to Search Engine Land, "There appear to be some fairly major SEO implications." Officially, Google says that its algorithm has been improved and refined for Place Search.

"Now, fully fleshed out Place Pages will assume much greater importance, as will being present and reviewed in the various sites featured in the 'clustered' links," notes Search Engine Land's Greg Sterling. As a result, he says, local directories like Yelp, Citysearch, Insiderpages, and Urbanspoon will benefit greatly from the change. Visually, maps have been moved to the right column, and "floats" or scrolls down the page as users move down results. Selected third party sites referencing a particular search topic are "clustered" with the listing. In cases of ambiguous queries, if Google isn't sure whether users are seeking local information, there's another type of result that will appear, which Google refers to as "Places Mode."

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