I am fighting with competitors all day every day for the top positions on Google. Ive been doing this for years and years. Along came a competitor, out of the blue with a 1 year domain age next to mine which is 10 years. He scammed links on charity sites, employment sites, government and EDU sites. Most of them didn't even know they were being used like this. It was clever and audacious. He used false addresses to get in the maps.
Well, guess what? He's still number one today. He is as shonky as they come. Not one backlink I could find with my fancy tools had any relevance whatsoever to our trade. I even found backlinks on cake decorating sites for godsake.
After so many years of this I'm tired of dancing around Google's nonsense.
Then the Panda updates made sure I could only be found in my own area. I am working like mad to get found outside my area. Across the highway, a search just doesn't find me. I could throw a stone there.
This is madness. Sad that so many businesses rely on their position on Google which is tentative and precarious at best.