Google has recently updated the search results you see in a query that has local intent to show 3 local businesses instead of 7, which means instead of 7 packs you’ll now see 3 packs in the Google search results. This update was made to provide more relevant information including photos, reviews and working hours for searches that have multiple results for a given location.
This obviously will lead to fewer phone calls and sales for those businesses that appeared in the fourth position or lower. But it might lead to more business for those in the first three results.
Also on the plus side this change will free up additional space for organic listings to show higher on page 1 which previously has been dominated by sponsored ads and local search. So while others suffer those pushing their terms via Local SEO methords may see improvements.
If you want to see if your business is listed in local searches he is a simple trick, just add “&tbm=lcl” to the end of the search string. So “Bedford Plumbers” becomes https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=bedford+plumbers+&tbm=lcl