For almost two years, Google has been placing up to three text-based “local” results between the top paid and natural results for geo-based searches. They have now officially expanded and improved it by including maps, more directions, and more user-reviews.
A couple years ago, the results usually weren’t too relevant, and they’re still not perfect, but are more useful than they have ever been.
The third result (above) is from my own chiropractor. He doesn’t have a Web site, but my neck is happy and relaxed, and does not care.
I’ve mentioned Pizza Luce a ton of other times, and they again come up on top. Why is that? Well, Pizza Luce is very well-known for its buzz, unique flavor combinations, people watching, an annual summer block party, and tall-boy PBRs. Most of their user-reviews are positive, they get lots of press and link love, and they have different locations within the city.
That’s my guess, anyway.
For those in the industry, the “yourcity Pizza” has become the (more or less) standard search query to measure local search results. The Luce result has been at the top ever since I started checking close to two years ago.
Matt McGee from SBS has some great insight on this from Seattle and Washington State.