What is a Google Places Penalty?
If your business has been ranking on the first page of Google in the local results 7-pack, and then suddenly disappears, it is possible that you may have been hit by a Google Places penalty. These penalties are distributed to Places pages, and their corresponding websites, when they’ve violated the Google terms of service. Examples of these violations include appending keywords onto your business name, the use of a call tracking number, paying for reviews, or having duplicate or multiple listings with the same NAP information.
The team over at directorybug came up with an innovative way to check to see if you’ve been hit with one of those pesky places penalties. By performing a localized search on this specific URL you are able to view the search results without the filters that remove the penalized listings.