Today, the 28/10/2010 saw a noticable update in the way that local search results are displayed.
It appears that Google has merged it's data from Google Maps and its organic listings to re-order the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) and display the information differently.
Now last time I checked (less than a week ago) my Mum's website, (which she designed herself for free) http://suetallentsgardens.co.uk was number six for the search term "Garden Design Cheltenham".
Today with the new data, she's up to position number five, and the way her listing is displayed has changed. Now the fact that the SERP position has changed, at the same time could be sheer coincidence, however it's interesting that Google seem to have come up with a hybrid between the old Google Map at the top centre, below the top sponsored listsings, with the organic results displayed below.
However the new local search results look like this:
It will be interesting to see if this is a temporary blip from Google, or if this is the new face of their local search listings. The new layout includes photos and a map listing, as you'd expect to see, but with this dominating the page 1 results.
Also, it used to be possible to get a double listing on Page 1 - one for the map section and another for the organic listing, which was great for my Mum, as she had twice the exposure on Page 1. Perhaps this is a bid from Google to increase adwords revenue by people using Adwords, rather than the combined map/organic listing to dominate the space on Page 1 SERPS.