Google issues the following statement on 4/20/2010 “Today the Local Business Center is becoming Google Places. Why? Millions of people use Google every day to find places in the real world, and we want to better connect Place Pages — the way that businesses are being found today — with the tool that enables business owners to manage their presence on Google”
And on 10/27/2010 Google announced “Place Search results will begin appearing automatically on Google when we predict you’re looking for local information. In addition, you’ll find a new link for “Places” in the left-hand panel of the search results page so you can switch to these results whenever you want.”
Here is how it looks when you look for example for “it support tampa fl”. It’s a bit confusing at first, but I think I got used to this relativeness quick. It will be a good help for local small businesses to be identified on the high competition searches. We will see how it will progresses and how it will be accepted.