Every Google searcher has seen the in your face Google local results when conducting basic searches that may have local intent.
It seems like Google has stepped up the number of queries that they feel should show local results.
A WebmasterWorld thread has some webmasters saying they are now seeing more local traffic from Google. The terms they ranked for in Google, specifically product names, are now showing up in the local results. He said:
It's a site about a specific type of product. It's old and well linked. It's often copied but never duplicated. It took places to take it out.
What bothers me is that a search for this product, which is sold in various stores everywhere, does not require you enter a location in your search terms to return Google places results first.
I am not sure if this is indeed true, but we do know Google is getting stricter with product feeds specifically knowing local inventory. So it makes some sense.
But guess what, web design and SEO companies won't rank for local terms still. Google made a decision years ago that when people are looking for a good SEO company or web design company, location does not matter. I can't speak for SEO companies, but from a web development company, I know most of our clients love that they can come to our office in New York and meet face to face with us.
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.