There are many businesses which majorly cater to the local market and would like to focus on targeting the local traffic on the search engines. For such businesses even on organic search the search queries with a local intent are the priority for their search presence.
Google also takes local search very seriously and since a long time has been improving the quality of local search results in terms of display, listing management and also trying to measure the public opinion in terms of reviews for these listings.
The recent development being discussed is the Pigeon Algorithm (A name given by Search Engine Land after Google discussed about an upcoming algorithm for local search with Danny Sullivan)
The update has been pushed out to U.S. English based search results and the update impacts both the organic local listings within Google Map Search and Google Web Search.
SEL shared that Google has also informed Danny Sullivan that the new local search algorithm ties deeper into their web search capabilities, including the hundreds of ranking signals they use in web search along with search features such as Knowledge Graph, spelling correction, synonyms and more. Furthermore, Google has not commented on the percent of queries impacted by this algorithm update, nor if certain web spam algorithms were deployed in this update.