For several years my site has ranked #1 for most variations of the phrase 'web design buxton'. I've never done any serious SEO on it, it's a local phrase and not very competitive but worth having as it generates a few queries each month.
Recently, a competitor registered 'buxtonwebdesign .co.uk' (March) and according to Bing (I can't get on Google at the moment to check this) his homepage now outranks mine despite mine kicking his ass in almost every signal I'm aware of:
My competitor Sub Domain My site
Referring domains 9 48 External BackLinks 248 2,342 Indexed URLs 72 95 Class C subnets 5 37 Referring IP addresses 7 44
My site mentions Buxton a lot and has links from visionbuxton and visitbuxton, two important local sites. My domain is aged, I have good quality links (most of which are from sites I've built but then so are his), my link profile is natural.
So, the only reason I can see for why he'd outrank me is that his domain actually has the word Buxton in it. If anyone can check Google.co.uk I'd be interested to know how he's doing on there and if anyone has any other explanations for why my ranking has dropped I'm interested to hear them. I haven't had any warnings in my GWT account.