It's actually been a long time coming and awaited with some keenness - but it's now live and working well. With no warning and just the addition of a line underneath the search box - the localised UK Google burst into life this week.
It features two search boxes - one for the query and one for the location - but then "hey presto" a list of locally addressed organisations leaps onto the screen accompanied by a 3-D map flagging the precise locations for each list item.
You can click on 'directions' without even saying where you are and you receive an excellent map routing you pretty efectively to where you want to go from the centre of the nearest town.
Across the top of the screen are the expected 'sponsored links' in a fairly familiar format.
To appear at the top of the screen you can simply advertise with Google Adwords - but much more interesting is the option to geo-target your results on a particular town or location. Advertisers now also need to review their advertising with directories - especially Yell. Com which is being used to supply the categories and the natural or organic results.
All of this makes Adwords more complex once more and many advertisers will now need to employ an agency with people who really know what they are doing - even if only to save the immense amount of time needed to make the 'pay per click' method successful.
But well done Google, at last, for an excellent tool which will solve a problem for many businesses. I don't understand why you didn't tell agencies about it earlier so we could plan for it and promote it - but otherwise top job!