UPDATED FOR DECEMBER 2014 - Most likely this is due to the effects of the Pigeon algorithm update.
Keep calm, Corporal Jones, and let the dust settle.
Our colleagues in the US have been commenting on some strange results for the last couple of weeks.
I have had a couple of calls that run along these lines recently.
Their Google Places (Google+ Local) Page used to show up on the front page for their main keyword in the nearest big town but doesn't any longer.
In most cases, this is because business owners have got wise to Google Places and begun creating their own - there is much more competition for those search terms.
And, more importantly, there is much more competition for that search term in your nearest big town.
Google Places Optimisation
So, unless your business is actually situated in that big town, you don't have a lot of chance of getting onto the front page for any search terms relating to it - well, not with your Google Places page anyway.
If you're based in one of the outlying suburbs, even if you have your dashboard 100% complete with all the fields fill in and you have an authoritative website, you will still find it hard to rank - because there will be several other businesses who are actually based in the centre of town... and there are only between 3 and 10 spaces available on the front page.
If there are ten Google Places/+Local Pages showing, then even the organic listings are being pushed off the bottom so you will struggle to get your website to show for the terms either.
The only way you're going to be able to compete for that big town? You need to refine your keywords to work those which your competitors are not using.
Call us today to find out how - 01702 476517.