You may notice a change in the Google Search results today. In response to the rapidly increasing trend of delivering location-based information to users, Google has updated its algorithm to display location-based results by serving a more robust version of Google Local listings as first page search results. As always, Google is striving to deliver the most relevant search results possible to its users while also stepping up competition with the likes of Facebook & Bing. The Google Place Search results typically include a map place marker, photo, review rating & contact details while the map now appears in the top left-hand corner and moves with you as you scroll down the page. The position of the Places listings varies with each unique search as the layout of the search results page continues to be highly dynamic.Product Manager Jackie Bavaro said in a recent interview “It’s a faster and easier way to find sites with local information”. Google Place Search is only triggered when Google believes that the user is searching for location based information and will save an average of 2 seconds of searching time. As you can imagine, Google Place Search will be particularly useful for mobile users and a Google representative recently confirmed that they are planning to roll out the feature to Smartphones in the near future. In classic Google style, not only will this change benefit the user it will also benefit the world’s biggest search engine as it will entice many more businesses to create a Google Local listing. However, the greatest benefit may be to small local businesses that can now take advantage of potential first page listings that they otherwise might not have been able to achieve.As the Google Search results page becomes more complex it is more important than ever to ensure your business has a strong Adwords, SEO&Local strategy in order to effectively compete on the first page.