Google Places is getting a kick in the pants with more information delivered automatically in search results.
The newly-announced Place Search will be part of standard Google search. When the engine thinks you’re looking for local information, it returns mostly local businesses as results. Google already does this to some extent, but only in a small bubble of listings next to a local map. The new results have longer descriptions and review snippets, and when you scroll down the page, the little map follows along in your browser window. (Place Search is rolling out over the next few days, but you can see a preview here.)
Google is also adding a “Places” link in the left sidebar, should you want to see only local results. This comes in handy when searching for a specific menu item or attraction, like “foosball,” which might not trigger Place Search on its own.