No Google “Places” Local Search Awful Continued

The trusty Mike Blumenthal pointed out April 30th, 2013 that in fact the Google local places features is no longer available in the drop down menus as notated below.  Mike mentions in his article, linked above, the following:  ”Users can only make it to Google’s local search options if they are in Plus. Equally significant is that there is no unique locally focused brand.”

Again, wow!  I get it.  Google wants us to use Google+.  So they’re basically forcing one to sign up for Google+ to search “Local”.  They want you to be in the Google+ environment and be all socially and engage and talk w/ your friends and Plus one stuff and engage etc.  I think this is a poor decision.  People are probably already experiencing “social fatigue” – I’m talking about normal people, not “industry geeks”.  I think the last thing people are looking for is another social network.  And beyond that, it’s not even clear how to get to a local search via Google i.e “Hey guys, over here for better local search …. step one, sign up for Google+, step 2…” and so on and so forth.  It’s just kind of implied I guess?  People will still search with local intent via the “regular search” function, but local results are limited – true local listings are limited to page 1.  Beyond that are organic local listings (, local websites  (, etc.  Not seemingly better from my perspective.  Not easier.  Not more transparent.  Not easier.  Anytime something becomes not easier, it’s probably not good.