When you search for pizza on the internet, most often you want to find a good pizza place nearby. Google Maps is great at this, but today Google's rolling out a new Place Search feature for better local search via Google.com.
Click the image above for a closer look.
Going forward, if Google thinks you're performing a local search, it will default the results to a Place Search. If you don't include any location information (like the name of the city you're in), the Places result will default to your current location (or at least Google's best estimation of your current location). If you put in specific text —like Sydney bars, Places will, naturally, look for bars in Sydney. It's very similar to that "Local business results for your query near place you're looking for" one box result that sometimes appears at the top of the page—it's just more focused and a little richer. Google explains the differences for the results of a
austin bar-b-que search:
The new results are marked with red pins, and each one is a unique restaurant with relevant information and links from across the web. I can see that Stubb's has live music, and I can click citysearch.com, tripadvisor.com and other sites to read reviews. In the past, the same search would return links with information about Stubb's in different parts of the results page. Now information is grouped conveniently to make it easier to digest and compare.
Starting today, Place Search will automatically appear if when Google thinks you're looking for results that focus on a locale, and they're also adding a Places link to the sidebar. The feature will roll out to everyone over the next few days, so if you're not seeing it already, you should soon. If you can't wait, you can try it out now at this page.
Place Search: a faster, easier way to find local information [Official Google Blog]