Locksmiths are never slow when it comes to finding new tactics to rank on Google Places. Since the Google Pigeon ranking update, traditional SEO factors impact ranking more. This means that sites that have high organic ranking, tend to rank better in local (Google Places).
So what locksmiths are now doing is finding a directory that has a high organic ranking, and linking to it in their Website URL field on their Places listing. The page they link to isn’t even the listing for their business on that particular directory, it’s simply whatever page is ranking organically for the keyword they are targeting.
Search Term: Locksmith Silver Spring MD
The locksmith is linking to http://www.angieslist.com/companylist/us/md/silver-spring/locksmiths.htm which is a page that shows up on the first page organically.
According to the Google Places Quality Guidelines, for your website field, you should “provide one website that represents your individual business location”. I think if the link went to a listing or a search results page that highlighted the business, it would probably be okay (this example does neither). Would Google consider this a violation and penalize or change the listing in question? That’s still to be determined. What do you think?