Mike Blumenthal points out that Google is surveying SMBs about their attitudes toward Google’s local services: “This short survey is being conducted as a project to analyze use of local search tools by businesses and business owners.”
(CORRECTION: Mike just informed me this is likely NOT a survey from Google itself. Who’s doing it then?)
Mike discusses the second page in the survey in particular (this is the final substantive page other than demo questions):
Google seems to be trying to determine how satisfied business owners are with Google Maps/Local and its features and their position within results. It’s also trying to figure out how many people are relying on third parties to manage their content and whether they would be willing to pay Google directly for new service options.
The idea of charging businesses directly to control their listings or for enhanced listings/services is actually a good idea I think. But the issue recapitulates the much-discussed and debated self service question. However, Google’s John Hanke told me some time ago that the number of local businesses that had interacted with Google’s Local Business Center was in the “low seven figures.”