Google has launched new city pages for Portland, Austin, San Diego, and Madison, but will continue to add to the list. City Pages are essentially a place users can go and see information about the best places to go in any given category in a city.
Specifically, you'll be able to browse a list of businesses recommended by locals, by rating, category, and filter (ie: family friendly). In addition, it will show news about the Google Places community and upcoming events.
On the Google Small Business blog, Cecelia Stewart of the company's local marketing team writes, "Over the past six months, Google Places has ventured into Portland, Oregon; Austin, Texas; San Diego, California; and Madison, Wisconsin. Our goal for each of these campaigns was to celebrate the strong local business communities thriving in each of these cities. To do that, we’ve carried out a range of activities: hosted a bus tour to find the best barbecue in Austin, held a concert seriesshowcasing some of Portland's favorite music venues, and met with thousands of small business owners to show them how Places can help them connect with customers."
"And if you’re a business owner, we've got a special page just for you," says Stewart. "Use it as your one-stop-shop to find out how to manage your presence on Google. Bonus: These pages have a fun set of video testimonials from small business owners using Places."
That includes this video:
This is not the only local-related feature coming out of Google this week. They also launched the My Places tab on Google Maps. This is a way users can access a collection of the places they've starred on Google Maps, rated on Google Places, etc.
On mobile, Google is displaying icons on the front page for nearby places by category, such as restaurants, coffee, and bars (as well as a more button, which leads to shopping and other categories).
The company also launched a new feature that shows descriptive phrases in local search results, based on the most commonly used phrases associated with Places around the web.