dorothea

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I've been going through the discussions of the past few months in order to understand how SABs have evolved, and how they are treated by Google, depending on the visibility of their address.

More about my case: a client is planning to open a business that will deliver its services and products all across Melbourne, AU. The business can run 100% online, without an open location for clients, but we're considering the option of sharing a storefront with another business in order to have a visible address on Google Maps. I did some research on our niche (keyword + melbourne), and found out that all local listings that show up on the first page in Google have a visible address.

What would you do in this scenario? Can we get the same rankings with a hidden address or is it worth the effort of finding or opening up a place where customers can visit us? In the end, what are the differences (in terms of ranking and visibility) between a SAB with a local storefront and a SAB without one?
 

Linda Buquet

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Hi dorothea,

What specific industry? You said it could be 100% online. Is it an online store, or web design, or???
 

dorothea

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Linda, thanks for the super quick reply. It's going to be an online store offering gift deliveries. :)

After more research I found some relevant information on localvisibilitysystem.com, but it's from 2012. How have things evolved in the meantime?
 

Linda Buquet

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Sorry for the Qs, but the right answer depends on the situation.

Who does the deliveries? Them personally in their own trucks? Or do they use a shipping company?

Because the question is really if they qualify for a local listing at all.

Online only businesses do not. Only businesses that meet customers face-to-face do.
 

dorothea

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No problem about the questions. :)

They have their own warehouse, orders will be delivered by their own couriers, meaning that they will meet their customers face-to-face. It's a 100% Melbourne based business, no franchises, intermediaries or anything of that sort. I was planing on using the address of their warehouse for Google Maps and all the citations, but that one will have to be hidden - as the customers won't be able to come by and pick up their orders there. The question is, should we go with the hidden warehouse address or is it worth the effort to get a storefront?
 

Linda Buquet

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Ahhh now I have the whole picture. Didn't know if it was someone out of their house doing ecom and shipping which would not be allowed.

So yes I would do warehouse and hide address.

There is no disadvantage. It does not affect ranking to hide address. A couple years ago folks thought it did, but if it did, it doesn't now. You'll see lots of plumbers for example with address hidden ranking at the top of the pack.
 

dorothea

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Thanks! That was exactly my concern. I'm glad that hidden addresses are no longer disadvantaged. :)
 
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