A little video from Google “explaining” in very simple terms the three factors used for ranking local pages as well as a very brief introduction to three new locally relevant products: Google Hotpot, Tags, and Boost.
A very interesting thing about Hotpot…if you sign up and your online friends rate other businesses, those will be ranked preferentially when you search in those categories. Your personal results will also be ranked based on your past preferences/reviews/etc in hotpot.
Local search is getting a lot more social, folks. This is happening on a pretty wide scale already, but I predict that in the coming few years, very few of us will see the same results for the same local search terms, even when we search from the same geo location. Our past preferences/ratings as well as those of our online “friends” are playing a larger role in the results we see.