In the video below, Product Manager Jeremy Sussman takes us under the hood about how Google ranks local information to help you find relevant search results, and how new features like Google Places, Tags, Boost and Hotpot may or may not impact the ranking of organic listings.
"Local search ranking refers to placement and order of local info on a Google or Google Maps organic search results page. There're a variety of factors we take into account to provide you with results that match your local search, and three of the primary signals are relevance, prominence and distance. The best way to help potential customers connect with your business is to ensure that your basic company information like its name, address and phone number, are accurate, and then to add rich details like photos, hours of operation and more. You can do this by claiming and verifying your business via Google Places. However, claimed business listings do not receive any special ranking treatment over unclaimed business listings."