Has Google shut down Places Search or only made it strictly Local
Google seems to have shut down Places search since the company no longer offers the link in the More section on the search results. You can now locate local businesses only by using organic or paid search on Google+ Local or on Google Maps.
Google has also stopped displaying the More Results near….location option when displaying their 7 pack in local results. On being asked for feedback, Jade Wang from Google responded that the company was working towards improving local search experience with the aim of offering a more seamless exploration for places along with increased merger of local data. The company has asked users to wait for coming updates.
On the other hand, Google has stopped providing local search results outside your perceived location. Thus, if you are in the USA and using Google.com then you will not be able to see local results for England. You will need to use Google.co.uk to get local results for the UK.
Google seems to have permanently shut down Places search right after launching their Google Places for Business dashboard. However, Google is stated to link up with 3 sites of their competition in Europe while pledging to label Places Search results and such a move hence seems baffling to many.
Only time and future updates will tell what exactly is in the mind of Google when it either shuts down Places search completely and opts to further thrust Google+ on local businesses or comes up with a surprise option for local search.