Catalyst - 3:43 am on Jul 14, 2010 (gmt 0)
I'm the one that originally discovered the new SERPs layout, took the screen shots and broke the story over at the other blog because everyone in the biz reads that one.
Somehow I've been sitting on a special Google datacenter that's doing the testing and I've only found 2 other people that sporadically have seen the new results.
I'm so used to looking at the new format now and have done so much research that I think I can explain it without screen shots. Although you really have to see it the get the full impact.
In a nutshell the map that was top left moves to the top of the right column above Adwords, pushing the paid ads lower down the page. Plus the map scrolls with you, so even when you are at the bottom of page where the organic listings are, the map is right there pointing out where all the top local companies are.
The Local listings are 3 times as big as they used to be AND the top half is just like an organic SERP. Instead of just name (like the local ads currently are), it pulls meta title and description from the site making a more content rich listing - PLUS on top of the full size organic looking listings it also pulls snippets from Places reviews. So it sort of looks like a full organic listing, sitting on top of a places review.
Plus the link to Places is labeled "Place Page" instead of just "more info".
Overall it's a pretty radical change that could make LOCAL a much more important place to be and it pushes organic way down the page.