Some people are seeing the new richer Google UI (three-column format). Among other features it has a “detect my location” pull-down that allows for transparent automated detection of location or for manual input of location. Here’s a screen from Barry Schwartz’s story at Search Engine Land:
This means that content can get more locally relevant and more precise location (perhaps) can be factored into ads. Google is still testing this UI reportedly and isn’t yet rolling it out for the rest of us.