I wrote a post yesterday for the new YOUmoz feature of SEOmoz on how Google Local has become more important than ever in the organic results. Before I talk about the new Google Local integration i wanted to give a shout out to the new design and features at SEOmoz. The Matt did a great job on the design but i was perticularly impressed with the new user features such as the YOUmoz and post tracking and all kinds of stuff. It is also cool to see that they are monetizing their mindshare as it is HUGE, by charging for access to advanced reports, tools and other perks.
On to the new Google Local integration you can read the full post linked above but I have noticed two things. First if you are not number 1, or 2 organically for your city targeted keywords you are below the fold. The new top ten is the top two for geo targeted organic words. Second there is still so much opportunity to rank in the top local spots as I have seen a lot of scraped results from Googles partners instead of listings in their actual local database. You can bet they will replace the borrowed listing with yours if you are in their database.
Here are some links to some searches I did
The 3 links showing on the side of the images are huge and you can expect some easy traffic from those listings. I also see a huge opportunity for branding as it still takes a couple of steps to actually get to the companies website from the local results, as apposed to the one click in the organic results. So get listed Locally and get your brand at the top then get ranked number one for the organic spot to get the repeat exposure and the visit.