Catalyst - 6:19 pm on Aug 16, 2010 (gmt 0)
Nope it's not fake at all. Google even confirmed it!
I broke a story on Mike Blumenthal's blog last month showing a BUNCH of different screenshots of different search terms in various cities all showing that exact same new layout they are testing. Google sent a PR person over to confirm it was a test. I have screenshots on my Dental blog too.
For a long time it seemed I was the only one that was sitting on a certain test datacenter and no one else could see the results. But then several other people started seeing them and reporting on them.
Thing is if you want to try to see them for yourself you have to keep trying and the new SERPS only show with FF not IE.
ONE BIG IMPORTANT DIFFERENCE HOWEVER.
I tested and saw a TON of different results.
I never saw any searches that pulled LOCAL ONLY results.
The ones I did screenshots of either had 7 local on top and 3-4 organic (pushed WAY down to the bottom of 2nd page because the new local listings are so much bigger!)
Or some had 3 Organic on top, then 7 local, then 2 or 3 organic.
COUPLE OTHER INTERESTING THINGS TO NOTE THAT WEREN'T MENTIONED IN THE BLOG REFERENCED AT BEGINNING OF THIS POST.
The map obviously moved to the right and pushes down Adwords. But what's cool is as you scroll down the page the map moves with you. (Since I specialize in local I think it's cool anyway.
The other thing that's interesting is Google is pulling meta title and description from organic. So the local listings are 2 - 3 times bigger and sort of like an organic PLUS a local listing combined.
I think we posted about all this in the Google local forum awhile back. I'll go find the post and cross link for whoever is interested in more info.