Foursquare really have got things going. OK, it could be said that hyperlocal online activity began with Google maps directory listings and Google Local. However, in the mega enterprise world Facebook have reacted to Foursquare with Facebook places offering similar functionality but integrating into the whole Facebook offering i.e. loads of traffic.
What is different? The map position is a big change, as is the integration of the ‘places’ link on the left hand side.
So how could Google places change any existing built up traffic from Google Local? Well, sites like. Yell, Yelp and City visitor could be lose ranking positions to actual businesses as these results appear to be prioritised on actual business results. Paying attention to the detail like uploading photos, encouraging customer reviews and including the new rich snippets markup against your addresss on your own website all helps in this area of expansion.
What is the size of the prize? In their October 2010 statement, Google have estimated that 11% of their search is local. If you are a multiple location retailer or a single location business that relies on local custon then these changes are of high importance.
Keep monitoring actual Google results and the Official Google blog. By checking this blog on weekly basis (and the Google Webmaster blog) you will keep up with all things new that could impact positively on your business.