Earl the Pearl has reported at SEO Refugee of the expanded presence of the Local OneBox on broader geographic phrases and broader business categories. He notes:
Onebox maps are now returned on searches by state names, ie Used cars Florida, Nursing School Pennsylvania. Previously its appearance was more locally focused for queries like used cars Miamia and nursing schools Philadelphia. The onebox also shows for industry secondary terms. Previously it didn’t.
All of which injects the google onebox, the google maps inserts and the google maps algo serps more prominently throughout a far greater variety of localized searches in serps.
These results are appearing both interspersed in the results(as noted by Barry S at the SeRoundtable.com), at the top of the organic search results AND and can achieve featured OneBox status.
It is hard to underestimate the effect that these type of results will on these very broad (geographically) search terms will have on traffic (state + business category). It puts an all new emphasis on the OneBox and its importance for visibility.Expanded use of the Local OneBox by Mike Blumenthal