Google recently tweaked it's algorithm in an attempt to provide users with more relevant and useful information during local searches. The change, dubbed the "Pigeon Update" by the experts over at Search Engine Land, has reportedly caused local search to function more like typical web search through the use of similar ranking signals.
SEOs are still analyzing the effects of the Pigeon Update. So far, it looks like local directory sites have moved to the top of the rankings. At the same time, individual business sites might be facing an uphill battle to remain visible.