Originally Posted by tonygreek
Not at all. Hit Google and type in dentist, lawn service, whatever. You'll find a blend of the most relevant broad (national) results, as well as local-to-you results, and the Google Local/Places/+ pack results.
I just searched only the word "dentist" and received the following results:
1. Wikipedia entry
2. local dentist office
The 7-Pack of Local results
3. a .gov site
5. Delta Dental
6. local dentist office
7. local dentist office
Now, if you want to change your default location, and pretend to be searching via, say, Los Angeles, Google now gives the option to change your default search location by clicking the menu option of "Search Tools" (it's in the sub menu, under the search box, next to Web - Images - Maps - Shopping - Blogs - More - Search Tools").
We're conditioned to search that way, so I'd say it's now more reflexive than anything. I still do it, even though I know it's not entirely necessary (to me, it's a results trust issue that I have and not really the problem of Google, per se.).
Yep, this also occurs, but it's not the exclusive way local results are served, per the above results.
This would be a great discussion in the web forum since we've veered a bit. lol
Sorry to the OP. Yes Tony, I see Thanks again. I have not done any serious SEO reseach since 2005