I can't see this in Australia but this isn't necessarily worse than seeing competitors in the 7-pack. Our Place Pages aren't as feature rich.
If I search for US plumbers in a random place, I see a "Related Maps" with a list of remodeling and repair services nearby. In other listings I see the "Nearby Places You Might Like".
I don't think it is accurate or useful. For example, I looked via the G Maps page for plumbers Delray Beach FL. The initial list shows plumbers in that locality. However, if I pick one and view its Place Page but not like the looks of the business, the list of plumbers in Nearby Places isn't useful, as it omits the others in the same locality but instead shows towns not immediately adjacent to that locality.
Perhaps this has some merit for tourism searches, e.g. picnic spots but now I can't (always) see the Nearby Places :(