Looking at some local search queries this morning, it appears as though Google is testing a new 7-pack of results as opposed to the 10-pack we have all gotten used to. Here is a screenshot of the new layout:
For businesses that have taken the steps to sign up with Google's Local Business Center, Google has a new offering available - Local Listing Ads. Unfortunately it is only currently available in San Diego and San Francisco as a trial!
One of the most important things a local business can do is to create a locally visible presence. 20 years ago a billboard may have seemed like the best option. Perhaps a 30 second spot on local television, or maybe a newspaper ad.