I've learned a lot about local placement in the past year, not enough but enough to understand some of the issues with local search placement, or whatever you might call it. I have learned that certain things cannot be guaranteed in selling a service, for instance "Patent Attorney Mountain View" fails but the same local-type search works for other cities in a google.com (not google plus/local) search.
I look around and see other services that are apparently offering local search placement (some say guaranteed) services. Myself, I don't understand how they can accomplish this. If Google displays results for a search type in the 3 spot or 7 group but you are not listed this I get but if the search type fails, I'm perplexed.
I'm interested in expanding my web development business to include local search placement, so questions like the above are important, vital, in how I describe and offer the service.
There might be 10-ish major local search services, Google Places, Yahoo Local, Bing Local, Citysearch, etc, another group of 30 or so that have some relevance, then perhaps hundreds of others.
I know of at least one such service which I cannot list here (wrath of Jill) which a business owner can use get listings synchronized, NAP, business description, etc for a batch of local search engines, but not google, for a fee this side of your first-born.
I have read that some services claim to have relationships or APIs so that they can feed to some of the search engines. I am pretty confident in what I can do, technically, administratively, in setting up a local business, but I don't have a good sense of how these things get managed efficiently without buying into one of the feeding services.
Business verification (submit form, callback, pin, email, etc), the first step is in itself a time-consuming act, then comes the waiting and such, lots of time and energy.
The question here, what advice can you offer to someone who is at ground level and motivated to start this type of business service?