I don’t know if I should be calling it Google Maps, Google Places, or Google Local; because when you submit your site to Google Places you’ll show up in Google Maps. Anyway, I prefer to just call it Google Maps to help avoid any confusion. But that’s not really the point of this post….
What is really important is for you to get your Google Maps listing up-to-date if it’s not already, because Google is making major SERP changes that could affect you.
Have you seen some of the latest local search results?
I wasn’t able to show you the entire page, but organic / map integrated listings took up the first 8 organic search results. Between that and the sponsored listings that only left two 100% organic listings for most of the local searches I tested.
From looking at my past and current clients it appears the organic listing is more heavily weighted than the maps listing when it comes to your rankings. However, the updated map listings with some reviews, stars and Google tags definitely stood out.
As Google continues to try and further monetize their search results you can see the direction Google is going and how important it is for you to stay on top of your local listing.