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There are many changes afoot in 2010 at Google. Citations are becoming a major force, real-time search is available, personalisation is up and running. However, even as Google strives to be as local, inclusive and relevant it still likes adding exceptions.
Following the furore after locksmiths claimed local listings to improve their search positions, Google has turned its attention to online development and has now reached the SEO industry. Previously if you'd searched for "SEO Manchester" on Google you'd have seen a map as you would with any other geographic search - "Computers Manchester" for instance:
However, if you search for "SEO Manchester", Google have removed extra content and simply displays sponsored and organic text results.
This doesn't apply to all of Google's channels - map content has not simply been removed; a quick search on http://www.google.co.uk/maps returns 835 results for "SEO Manchester". The blog and news searches do not appear to have been affected either. Whether this is a permanent change or not remains to be seen but Google is obviously trying to keep its local listings as clean as possible and it will be interesting to watch further developments.