The world of local search is changing quickly, and it pays to stay informed of the latest developments. In the first quarter of 2023, there were a number of changes that could affect how you market your business in the local search realm. Here are 13 key developments you need to know about:

1. Google Updates Local Search Assessments

Google has updated its local search assessment methodology, which affects the ranking of local businesses in search results. The new methodology takes a more comprehensive look at a variety of data points to accurately rate the quality of results.

2. Google Introduces Local SEO Checklist

Google has launched a new local SEO checklist to help businesses optimize their websites for local search. The checklist covers topics such as developing and refreshing local content, verifying business information on search engines, using structured data, and more.

3. Bing Makes Improvements to Its Local Search Algorithm

Bing has made significant improvements to its local search algorithm, which means that businesses that follow best practices for local SEO will be rewarded with higher search rankings.

4. Yelp Introduces New Verified Business Tool

Yelp has launched a new Verified Business tool, which allows businesses to verify and update their listings on the search engine. This is an important development, as it will help businesses ensure their information is up-to-date and accurate.

5. Local Reviews Become More Important Than Ever

Local reviews are becoming increasingly important for businesses, as they are a key factor in determining search rankings. Reviews can also be valuable in helping prospective customers make informed decisions about their purchase.

6. Google Enhances Local Knowledge Graphs

Google is continuing to enhance its local knowledge graphs, which are now appearing in more search results. This means businesses need to ensure their business information is accurate and up-to-date to take advantage of this important development.

7. Voice Search is Growing in Popularity

Voice search is on the rise and is becoming an increasingly popular way to find information. As such, businesses need to make sure their websites are optimized for voice search in order to better serve their customers.

8. Google Tests Same Day Appointment Scheduling

Google is testing a new same-day appointment scheduling feature, which would allow businesses to have customers schedule appointments directly from search results. This could be a great way to increase appointments and bookings.

9. Google Adds More Local Service Ads

Google has expanded its local service ads program and is now offering ads for more types of local businesses. This means that businesses that take advantage of this program can gain additional exposure in organic search results.

10. Google Tests Store Locator Pages

Google is testing store locator pages, which are webpages that feature listings of local business locations. This could be a great way for businesses to gain additional visibility in search results and drive more foot traffic.

11. Microsoft Launches Local Ads

Microsoft has launched local ads, which are pay-per-click ads that appear in search results for local businesses. This is an important development because it gives businesses the ability to promote their services in Microsoft’s growing search market.

12. Google Grows Its Local Event Listings

Google is now offering more options for local event listings, which could be a great way to market upcoming events and drive increased attendance.

13. Amazon Enhances its Local Search Features

Amazon is continuing to enhance its local search features, which now includes the ability to search for local business listings by city and state. This could be a great way to increase visibility for businesses that sell on the Amazon marketplace.

These are just some of the key local search developments from Q1 of 2023. By staying informed of the latest local search trends, you can ensure that your business is taking full advantage of all the opportunities available.