Hi, Lauren Kaye, here, with this week’s Content & Coffee with Brafton. There’s been a lot of buzz around local search recently and you know what that means: There might be a shakeup that could impact search marketing strategies. Click play to watch the video, or read on for the full text version.

So here’s a rundown of what happened in the past week.

1. Google sends out a warning to businesses that asks them to confirm their Local Place page listings or lose their positions on Google Maps and Google+. A company rep confirmed this was a real message from the search engine and that it’s happening because it’s doing a lot of work on its local search system. Perhaps it’s a use-it-or-lose-it message for companies that staked a web claim years ago, but aren’t really using their local real estate.

Recent changes in local search could be signals of larger changes to come.

2. Yahoo partnered with Yelp. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer announced the deal at a company meeting last week, revealing the search engine will pull Yelps’ data about local businesses into its results pages. This includes both their location and customer reviews, which could be great for popular local businesses with lots of negative reviews.

3. If the SuperBowl ad wasn’t enough of a smoke signal, there are reports that say Yellow Pages is making a play to get on the same online level as these major players. In the ultimate case of old school gone new school, the company is rebranding itself as YP and is repositioning itself as “the new way to do” to separate itself from information engines.

So why all of the commotion at once? It’s hard to say anything for certain, but my instincts say it has to do with the fact that people are officially using their smartphones for search more than desktop computers – 34 hours a week versus 27.

As people’s search habits continue to swing toward handheld devices rather than stationary equipment, local search will only become more important and continue to steal the spotlight.

Let us know what other content marketing questions you have in the comments section below or by tweeting @Brafton.

Catch you next week, and happy content marketing!

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.