There might not seem to be a lot of romance in search engine optimisation, particularly when it comes to the pragmatic-seeming SEO jobs you need to do for local search. When you want to get featured in Google Places, though, you really should act like the heroes and heroines of a Regency romance novel.
For example, the proper course of romance in such novels runs like this. First of all, the hero moves into the neighbourhood. Visiting cards are handed around, and opinions of him sought from any characters who might know something of him, ensuring he is who he says he is. Next, a gentle introduction is made. The heroine visits the hero in his spectacularly impressive mansion and, after dancing around each other for a bit, the hero and heroine are united in a calm but happy manner.
When it comes to search engine optimisation for Google Places, your best chance of success is to act in the way described above. Move into the neighbourhood and identify yourself by registering a validated listing. Back this up by supplying references in what way you can, through registrations with other local directories and mentions on other locally related sites. Further establish yourself by noting your local address on your website and your romance with Google Places is complete.
Note: when we say Regency, we probably mean along the lines of Jane Austen. Darkly attractive as the character may be, you won’t get far with Google by skulking around like Emily Bronte’s Heathcliff.