Bing has integrated Foursquare data into its social sidebar, further indicating the search engine's focus on local content.

Earlier this year, Bing rolled out a new social sidebar that integrated social data relevant to a search query onto results pages. Users see information from their friends, followers and other contacts, as well as general data from social media influencers on specific topics. However, Foursquare was previously absent from the equation, but Microsoft recently announced that the social check-in site will now be included.

Users will see comments and other tips shared about these businesses will also be present on SERPs along with the previously integrated data from Facebook, Twitter and others.

Providing information from Foursquare will give Bing’s SEO a more local feel, which is critical as more consumers turn to the web for information related to their locations. Recently, Bing also integrated Yelp into its local search platform to help users find reviews and ratings of businesses they’re researching.

Web marketing has taken a decidedly local twist in 2012, with consumers looking for relevant regional content. Companies have certainly taken notice, focusing on ways to target their nearby prospects. Brafton recently highlighted data from BIA/Kelsey that found that local ad revenue has increased by 13 percent in 2012 compared to 2011.

Joe Meloni is Brafton's former Executive News and Content Writer. He studied journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has written for a number of print and web-based publications.