Mashable hints that Google’s new Place Pages are potentially indexable. And indeed, they are. If you click on the Link button on any of the places pages, you can see that Google has given each of them a pseudo-URL:
While these URLs are certainly interesting, on closer inspection you can see that they aren’t exactly following Google’s established best practices for publishing dynamic web content. They can be reached by any number of URLs, and Google does not use the Canonical meta tag:
Not only does this mess up indexing, but it means that there is no common URL for things like Google SideWiki to latch onto for aggregating the comments made on these pages. For instance, you can see a comment at this URL:
http://maps.google.com/places/ca/nanaimo/-city-hall (or here if you don’t have SideWiki)
But not at this one:
It appears that rather than treating each place or business to its own unique hierarchical identifier on the web, Google is instead just parsing the URL for search terms, turning slashes into commas and dashes into spaces (mostly – special case for business names).
This is unfortunate, because if this hierarchical system was in fact in place, then this series of URLs would be very cool and spatially related:
(most of these but the last give you what you’d expect, so I was initially fooled into thinking this was more intelligent than it looked for a while).
While there is lots of potential for Google Place Pages to be cool, as it stands it’s just a slight advancement on using mod_rewrite to turn your URL into parameters. As @ajturner said, they’re using the web, but not part of the web.