Google Maps or Local recently became Google Places. This was the typical seven box we were used to seeing nestled at the top for localized searches. However, Google has just released a new version of local or Places that populates the entire page.
The implications for SEO are important mark out. It doesn't change SEO. It just adds to the importance of one source of traffic. This source of traffic like Organic is based to some degree on keywords. It is ranked on other factors than organic.
So if you want that traffic, you have to optimize for that traffic. The video explains the differences.
Google claims more than 50 million locations in it’s “Place Search database”, which makes it a major force against other local Place competition like, Fouresquare, Yelp, Facebook, Gowalla and many others. As a side note it would seem the Yellow Pages have been officially replaced. This new feature proves more than ever that it is important to make sure you are participating in Google Places and Organic search.
On this Halloween it seems this change might very well be a treat rather than trick.