Google put out a post announcing that they are allowing the public to test-drive their new “Caffeine” algorithms before they go live on the site. According to the post, the changes will allow Google to “push the envelope on size, indexing speed, accuracy, comprehensiveness and other dimensions”.
I tried it for a dozen or so of our customers and saw no discernable difference in Local Search although I saw some change in the organic results below the map. It looks like the changes will only affect SEO. I’ll do some further investigation and report back anything interesting.