After reading Mike Blumenthal‘s post on Google’s new feature, Nearby Places, I just felt like I had to write this. I did a local search for the most popular Chinese food restaurant in Petaluma, CA to see what places this new feature recommended. Take a look below to see what was yielded for the search “Lily Kai Chinese Petaluma, CA”:
If I was a competing small business I would not be happy about this update one bit. It is only a matter of time before Google places advertisements at the bottom of those listings. They could potentially place the new “enhanced listings” there to attract the reader’s eye to their restaurant. The addition of rich snippets is very important to these Nearby Places listings too. If your business has 5 ratings that average 3 stars and a few of your Nearby Places have solid 5 star ratings you actually might loose a customer. This is opening the doors for automated content aggregation companies to take a leap into the local scene by signing a content partnership with Google. This allows Google to take rich content provided by companies like CitySearch, Yelp, InsiderPages, and yes… even DemandForce. and have it get merged into your businesses local profile.