earlpearl - 7:26 pm on Feb 16, 2010 (gmt 0)
MVandemar referenced me over here. I've got some local businesses and spend a lot of time working on issues with local, PPC for those businesses and Google Maps stuff and especially rankings.
This little yellow thing is currently in test mode for Google. Yup. They are monetizing Google Maps. They ran a different test, also connected to Google Maps a little while ago, also in 2 cities. They've pulled that one for the time being.
I don't think this will have any impact on rankings. OTOH, if this is successful, and I think it will be, they'll probably raise the monthly price over time.
It so happens that the yellow link can refer to things that already could be on your google local record AKA Google Maps page, or Google Places Page. It could be pictures, a video, etc....all of which you can load on your G Maps page/record. If your a restaurant it could be a menu.
If you have a local business and have "claimed your local listing" in google, you get something called dashboard analytics. IMHO these are pretty feeble. They don't tell you squat relative to any half way decent analytics package. OTOH, one of the things they tell you is when a visitor hits your maps site where to they go: directions to your page, the link to your site, or your Google Maps record.
Most people I've interacted with on this confirm that a far higher percentage simply click on the link to your site. Not many go to your maps record (which could hold the thing you are going to link to with this "yellow thing".
This is a way to get these things featured....for a price.
As far as rankings in G Maps...closest point to a "centroid point" is a factor in ranking. There are other factors.