As you probably know, I have been on the lookout for signs that Google was squeezing local directories out of the SERPs. While the launch of Google+ Local is not necessarily the death knell for IYPs getting organic traffic, it certainly is yet another omen, kind of like what happened at Damien’s birthday party (that clown always killed me):
Currently Google+ Local is subordinate to Google’s traditional (as of the past few months at least) Google Maps/Places/Pack results. When you search via Google.com, you only get G+ results if you have “show personal results” on.
Now let’s pretend that Larry makes good on his promise to make Google+ a layer over everything Google does. That could also mean that Google’s standard local search interface starts looking a lot more like Google+ Local than it does now. And as the illustration at the top of this post shows, directories ain’t part of the mix.
Even if Google never fully merges traditional search SERPs and Google+ SERPs, as G+ amasses more data I don’t see how Larry will be able to resist populating the traditional SERPs with more and more of it, and as David pointed out, it’s not like there’s a lot of room there for everyone else now.