gemini - 6:59 pm on Feb 27, 2013 (gmt 0)
At the end of 2012 a Google rep called offering help to "complete" our local listing profile. He said it was only 80% complete and Google does their best to help businesses to get as much as possible out of local results. He also was up-selling AdWords. To make long story short - the only thing that the rep wanted me to do is to identify each town in the Metro area that we serve. I believe, I just had marked the area with a circle on the map - it allowed to have a radius option.
After doing that, just in a day or two we disappeared from #1 ORGANIC spot for our main industry term and moved to #1 in the Local results snippet. Our traffic plummeted immediately. At that time I went back and changed our serving areas back to what it was, before the "Evil Rep" lured me into the trouble. Our results returned to the #1 organic spot. We enjoyed #1 rankings for a couple of months until it changed again at the beginning of the year. We're back in local results. I'm not doing any local promotions, nor I'm actively using G+ pages for business. But after searching, I found 3 different local pages in Google that feature our information. I called a few friends in different states, and they confirmed that we show up in local results there as well. This "deal" that Google gave us doesn't work out very well.
Not exactly sure what to do.. Currently I can't access our local result for editing - Google gives me a System Error: "We're sorry, but we are unable to serve your request at this time. Please try back in a few minutes."