I just noticed a sponsored link on Google Local Search while searching for a meeting venue in Phoenix, AZ. I noticed that the local map listing had a “sponsored link” section. I had never seen this before. I did some investigation and found that this comes from connecting your Google Places account to your Google AdWords account. In addition to connecting your accounts you then have to activate the connection. I don’t know if this is going to be a permanent feature – but apparently you’re not paying to be listed first (this only shows up on the second listing). So, the advertiser is only paying for a link. At this point its hard to be sure how that plays into the cost and value of using this feature. However, right now this feature can offer you a competitive advantage since not too many advertisers are aware.