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We’ve all seen them, the business listings above the organic results during a search on the major search engines. These are your ‘local’ business listings and although they have changed in appearance in 2010 (such as a map displayed with flags in the right sidebar and more), it’s important to start thinking about boosting your local marketing game even more in 2011.

Why? Glad you asked.

A big signal (Google signals) that Google is looking to tap further into the local markets is the fact that the big G offered Groupon (a site that offers crowd-infused coupons for local businesses) $6 billion dollars for the site and its assets. That’s quite a large acquisition (though Groupon turned the offer down) that says more than “we want to purchase your company.”

That gesture alone should be a signal to website owners that Google is shifting some focus to becoming more of a player in the hyper-local markets. Which, in turn, helps magnify the trends of people searching and shopping local for goods, services and information. The purchase offer gives us all insight as to how what Google is thinking in the upcoming year(s).

As a website owner, you should be stepping up your local marketing game when it comes to Internet and search marketing in 2011. If you need help in that arena, we here at Overit can get you set in the right direction.