Have their been any responses from anyone else?
(ya know...I got to join moz for a period....but that is besides the point)
First off it could be an existing experiment.
Secondly as often as Matt Cutts makes announcements, there are changes going on all the time that aren't accompanied by announcements. That has normally been the case in Local, with the exception being certain changes are made inside the Local/Business Forum, and then they usually get broadcast by mike blumenthal on his blog.
But announcing something inside the forum is doing so to a very small audience. Its not really broadcasting a change in a major way.
From appearance's sake, it gives the perspective that a retailer/product seller who advertises is going to get the additional benefit of a highly visual eyecatching reference in the organic results.
Bam!!!!! doesn't that make advertising infinitely more compelling??????? Doesn't that increase the pressure on businesses to spend money w/google???? Doesn't that put into question the honesty or believability of search results that are littered with incentives to advertise with google????
BTW: I'm part of an experiment w/ big Goog on emails. So I've been getting these personalized results with an "entity box" of some sort with regard to any entity or person with which I've emailed and who has a gmail acct and by default a google plus result.
I think its a cr@ppy @ss result btw. Its all about highlighting the entity's or person's google plus account.
Who gives a flying EF????--------------------------------------> except google.
.....and I'm with you, EGOL. I hope this doesn't take affect. But with google, nobody is stopping them from controlling the web world.
er...uh...India has just raised an anti trust issue with google. Good. I hope they bury in hot scalding curry.