Google announced that it is now using Rich Snippets for local search. Webmasters with pages that in some way pertain to real world places, can utilize these to reference those places and optimize for local search results.
"By using structured HTML formats like hCard to markup the business or organization described on your page, you make it easier for search engines like Google to properly classify your site, recognize and understand that its content is about a particular place, and make it discoverable to users on Place pages," says Carter Maslan, Google’s Director of Product Management for Local Search.
Google says to optimize for local search, you should not only use structured markup to help Google identify the places mentioned on your site, but to tell Google about your content through this form.
"Whether you’re creating a website for your own business, an article on a newly opened restaurant, or a guide to the best places in town, your precise markup helps associate your site with the search results for that particular place," says Maslan. "Though this markup does not guarantee that your site will be shown in search results, we’re excited to expand support for making the web better organized around real world places."