Many shop owners seek to hide their WhoIs information for the sake of privacy. We have also advocated that, yes spam is a problem, but transparency within your business model is worth it. It would seem that Google agrees.
Google has been applied for and been awarded United States Patent #7624101 called Enhanced Search Results. This new patent award will enhance Google’s local search capabilities, including the ability to return a result for a business that includes a phone number, address and often a map at the top of the search results for locally targeted search queries. The means for which this Google local search process will be improved are centered around Google’s ability to identify and verify addresses and phone numbers associated with the first natural search result.
Previously, you basically had to submit your local business information to Google Local. However, now Google will be better able to query the WhoIs information for your domain in order to *match or validate locally targeted information within your website. Still suggest you submit and verify your business with Google Local, as there are many other tools available in this application to benefit you business… But now searchers will get better local results regardless.
Google United States Patent 7624101
A method includes receiving a search query from a user and generating search results based on the search query. The method may also include providing the search results and information identifying at least one of a telephone number or an address associated with a first one of the search results to the user. The method may further include providing a link to a map associated with at least the first search result to the user.