I have been reading a couple threads about the new Google Places mess that is going on. I personally have to say I don't like it. I don't like the layout out of it, nor do I like how when you click on more results the screen is just cluttered and looks bad. That is just my opinion though. Here are some facts. I have a customer that has a pretty competitive keyword+city. I have been working with him for about 4 months now, and got him ranked #1 in the Organic listings from a second page position and Ranked #2 in the 7 box (before these new changes). He did not have a Local Listing when I started. Another note - His domain sucks. It has none of the keywords that we are trying to rank for. He wants to keep it so that is what I had to work with. His organic listing - 1. The first thing I did was change up his site for On-site SEO. It was horrible and took me about two days to rename all of the pictures, and change the site up. 2. After the site was optimized I started with the backlinking. This is a customer so I did not just blast his site with profile backlinks and blog comments. I build articles and web 2.0 properties. Then build backlinks to these properties. I also have some sites that I used to link to his site. I tried to keep it as white hat as possible, at least in his eyes. Ok, so my results before the Google Update were listed above. Now after the update, here some GREAT news, He is listed #1 in the Places on the first page. The crazy thing is, it is not his Maps/Local listing that is Ranked #1 it is his organic listing. What I mean by this is that it is Not the Business Name that is Blue and underlined it is the Organic Listing. I hope that makes sense. Below the organic listing is also his local information such as address and phone number. My thoughts on this are that if you build the Organic Listing up to have enough authority it will rank above the Local Listing. Other side notes that I have come up with. My theory of course... 1. The city center - Business closest gets ranked the highest, does not count for near as much as before. I would personally not even worry about it. 2. Google Places is DIFFERENT then Google Maps or Local whatever you like to call it. Places is a mixture of Organic and the Local listing. I will be testing these theories out on a couple more customers sites, and I will post here when I get it figured. Hope this helps some of you. Good Luck.