tedster - 6:12 pm on Jan 1, 2011 (gmt 0)
I wish I had a clue, Anne. If you discover a workable approach that's almost like the holy grail right now. From what I see, if Google decides that a query term has "geographic intent" then the new local/organic mash-up results are what you get.
Yes, if you can establish a strong enough information presence (like a Wikipedia or About.com) then you just might be able to compete. These mash-up results do have "some" room for pure organic results. The only way I can see that happening, however, would be a keyword domain for the query term and a big pile of natural backlinks.
Anyone see another way?