More threads by luischavez0104

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Hi, we have a Junk Removal client with a commercial address that is outside of their service area. We advised that they would have a very hard time ranking in their service area if their physical address is not inside said service area. On the contrary, their residential address is inside their service area. I advised we should wait until they find another commercial address inside their service area. Any thoughts here and for google guidelines does your business have to be in the service area? I was looking at the guidelines and it's not explicitly stated so if anyone has any concrete info that would be appreciated!
 
Solution
To change the address, you simply add the new address to the listing. If, weeks later, it is not ranking in the new area, that's when you have an issue to reach out to support about.

Because this issue isn't widespread, the majority of the people picking up these cases at Google will have no clue what you're talking about. So IF this issue ends up happening, you might be better off trying the Google help forum since the Product Experts are familiar with this issue.

@JoyHawkins if you're an SAB with the address removed, how do you add the new address? Are you suggesting that you would:
  1. Toggle the "show address" field.
  2. Enter the new address.
  3. Save
  4. Then remove the address again?
From what I've seen, when...
Many service area businesses work out of their home. While they are not supposed to show their address on Google, many of them do. And when you report them Google never does anything about it.

In my searching of this forum on the topic I have seen it said many times that while it’s against Google guidelines, they don’t take action against a service area business working out of their home and showing their address, even if they have no signage and aren’t open for customers to visit.

So it seems like moving the listing location to their home and showing the address might be the best option. I’d be interested in hearing what the professionals think.
 
Moving a SAB will trigger a bug and they will continue ranking at the old address if they hide the new address (I call it the schizo moving bug). Darren just wrote a long explanation of this on the whitespark blog (Don't mind the misleading post title). I would avoid moving unless you intend to show the new address.

This is a very interesting article. I’ve been heavily searching service area business topics on this forum and I’ve noticed many SEO professionals say that showing the address on the GMP will cause the business to rank better. So in all those cases it has been because the business has moved?
 
We have a video getting put out on our YouTube channel next week on this very topic. I was finally able to test this on a client on multiple locations and am very confident in our conclusions because we tracked what happened when you removed the address, then what happened when you added it back. We also tested it on multiple listings.

The video will detail it all so I'll come back here and post the link when it's live next Friday. Spoilers: we found hiding the address can have a big negative impact on ranking + call volume.
 
This is a very interesting article. I’ve been heavily searching service area business topics on this forum and I’ve noticed many SEO professionals say that showing the address on the GMP will cause the business to rank better. So in all those cases it has been because the business has moved?

Not necessarily. For starters, some verticals clearly hiding the address absolutely does have an effect. Those are usually obvious, however. We've experienced it most noticeably with SAB massage therapists. We have to track special keywords to get these (legitimate, I should note: they really do visit their clients) professionals to rank.

Since January, I've also ran into multiple cases where brand new GBPs were inexplicably invisible, only to start immediately ranking when the address was shown. This is incredibly inconsistent, however, and I have NO idea what factors are involved.

A pet theory of mine that I cannot prove is that instead of basing negative ranking for SABs on industry-wide proportion of SABs in the category, Google now applies that rule on the query level. Because many, MANY businesses do not hide address when they should, this result in undue punishment for the businesses following the rules.

Whatever is going on, I do not immediately dismiss the idea that the hidden address cannot be a factor anymore, but I handle it on a strictly case-by-case basis.
 
Hi, we have a Junk Removal client with a commercial address that is outside of their service area. We advised that they would have a very hard time ranking in their service area if their physical address is not inside said service area. On the contrary, their residential address is inside their service area. I advised we should wait until they find another commercial address inside their service area. Any thoughts here and for google guidelines does your business have to be in the service area? I was looking at the guidelines and it's not explicitly stated so if anyone has any concrete info that would be appreciated!

Hi @luischavez0104, I've got a few questions that may help provide some additional responses from the forum:
  1. It is a bit unclear as to whether your client already has a GBP or if you are debating on creating a brand new GBP.
  2. How away is the commercial address from the ideal service area?
  3. How far away is the residential address from the physical commercial address?
  4. Does the residential address have any trucks/trailers or business vehicles?
  5. Does the residential address happen to have a home office that is used for the junk removal business?
  6. Do they have competition with GBPs inside the preferred service area?
There may be some additional challenges facing GBPs, especially those that are SABs competing against ones showing their address. Here is a good post from the forum: How did the March 2023 Core Algorithm Update Impact Local Rankings?

Thanks!
Jeff
 
Hi @luischavez0104, I've got a few questions that may help provide some additional responses from the forum:
  1. It is a bit unclear as to whether your client already has a GBP or if you are debating on creating a brand new GBP.
  2. How away is the commercial address from the ideal service area?
  3. How far away is the residential address from the physical commercial address?
  4. Does the residential address have any trucks/trailers or business vehicles?
  5. Does the residential address happen to have a home office that is used for the junk removal business?
  6. Do they have competition with GBPs inside the preferred service area?
There may be some additional challenges facing GBPs, especially those that are SABs competing against ones showing their address. Here is a good post from the forum: How did the March 2023 Core Algorithm Update Impact Local Rankings?

Thanks!
Jeff

Hey! Thanks for all of the feedback and I'm looking forward to the new video. The client is setting up a new GBP, and I we just found out the commercial address is a UPS mailbox so we can't use it. We're going to use his home address and try to get some verification documents set up there. Thanks!
 
A pet theory of mine that I cannot prove is that instead of basing negative ranking for SABs on industry-wide proportion of SABs in the category, Google now applies that rule on the query level. Because many, MANY businesses do not hide address when they should, this result in undue punishment for the businesses following the rules.
This 100% matches our findings. Some keywords were totally fine when we went from hiding to showing and then back to hiding, but some of the core keywords were insanely impacted. We found implicit keywords were impacted the most negatively. So if it's a plumber, "plumber" would take way more of a hit when you hide the address vs "plumber dallas".
 
Such great information in this thread. I can’t wait to watch your video when it comes out, Joy.

At first I was a little apprehensive about changing my GBP to show my home address but I think it was the right choice.
 
Not necessarily. For starters, some verticals clearly hiding the address absolutely does have an effect. Those are usually obvious, however. We've experienced it most noticeably with SAB massage therapists. We have to track special keywords to get these (legitimate, I should note: they really do visit their clients) professionals to rank.

Since January, I've also ran into multiple cases where brand new GBPs were inexplicably invisible, only to start immediately ranking when the address was shown. This is incredibly inconsistent, however, and I have NO idea what factors are involved.

A pet theory of mine that I cannot prove is that instead of basing negative ranking for SABs on industry-wide proportion of SABs in the category, Google now applies that rule on the query level. Because many, MANY businesses do not hide address when they should, this result in undue punishment for the businesses following the rules.

Whatever is going on, I do not immediately dismiss the idea that the hidden address cannot be a factor anymore, but I handle it on a strictly case-by-case basis.

@Powersupport I thought I had it figured out. I thought that the problem occurred only in cases when the business moves, but Joy's case study and this super insightful response from @JS Girard make it clear that there is much more going on.

I have seen enough evidence to convince me that sometimes the problem is when a SAB moves, rankings shift back to the old address when they hide their address. But this doesn't seem to be the only thing that causes the ranking drop. Joy says that the businesses in her case study have not moved.

@JS Girard I'm curious about those cases you've been seeing since January. Do you know how those profiles were verified? One theory I have is that since Google has been pushing more people to video and email verification, instead of postcard, these locations might not have a location set in Google's back-end to base their ranking radius on. It's like they don't exist anywhere and so get excluded from ranking consideration. Add an address, and bam, now Google has an address to anchor rankings to. Just a thought. Let me know what you think.

The "query level" theory is also very interesting. Joy said that she noticed the ranking drop was more significant for implicit queries rather than geo-modified queries. What are those "special keywords" you have to track for those massage therapists?

Thanks!
 
@JS Girard I'm curious about those cases you've been seeing since January. Do you know how those profiles were verified? One theory I have is that since Google has been pushing more people to video and email verification, instead of postcard, these locations might not have a location set in Google's back-end to base their ranking radius on. It's like they don't exist anywhere and so get excluded from ranking consideration. Add an address, and bam, now Google has an address to anchor rankings to. Just a thought. Let me know what you think.
One case was a bathroom contractor. They happened to be outside the target area (a neighbourhood in Montreal), but so was most of the competition, so that couldn't be the main factor. They also had 15 reviews and were created last fall, so review age wasn't the problem. Yet they were nowhere at all in the rankings. I don't mean in the backwaters of page 10+, I mean missing entirely. Put the address back and:
1687183479024.png

While your theory is interesting, I don't do GBP creation myself (being on the autism spectrum, communicating with the clients on this would cause me far too much anxiety), and this angle of the process is not recorded in our client logs. Because I have to contend with a mildly rabid sales department that will have me drawn and quartered if a test causes rankings to plummet, I will not be testing hiding the address.

The "query level" theory is also very interesting. Joy said that she noticed the ranking drop was more significant for implicit queries rather than geo-modified queries. What are those "special keywords" you have to track for those massage therapists?
My answer will not be useful in English, because we operate in Quebec. For those types of clients we can't track just "massothérapeute" or "massothérapie" as we would normally do because Google just poofs them out of existence. We must track e.g. "Massothérapeute à domicile". Luckily for us, unlike in English the term for "at home" in French does not cross over with a very common generic word.
 
I have a contractor client who wants to change his local service area business address. I can find no option to do this for his Google Business Profile. You may say this is not a problem because he can list the towns and cities in his local service area. Here's the rub. When he verified his Google Business Profile he used his work address which was in a very small town about 15 miles from the major city he gets all his customers from. He is number 1 in the 3-Pack for that small town but of course, that means nothing because it gets almost no searches for his trade there.

He added all the large towns and the major city in his local service area but gets no traction in the GBL search results for that large city. He also has a work address (still should probably be a local service area) in that major city. He wants to change his GBP to that address. How can he do this?

He has a responsive website, good on-page, and off-page SEO, citations (with his new large city address), backlinks, etc. He ranks high in Google organic search results for relevant search terms but not even close in the GBP search results. It's a city with a 200,000+ population but the competition is weak. He should dominate.

Then, as I began to help him I noticed his business now has a duplicate GBP with the address he wants to change his original GBL to. It's unclaimed and of course unverified. Probably caused by his citations.

Should we claim his duplicate GBP that shows his address in the large city, get it verified then remove his original "small town" GBP? If so, I believe we can use the same company phone number. However, if we were to claim it, verify it, and list it as a second business location I believe he would have to use a different company phone number (which he does have).

I would appreciate any advice and suggestions on how to do this effectively. Thank you.
 
I have a contractor client who wants to change his local service area business address. I can find no option to do this for his Google Business Profile. You may say this is not a problem because he can list the towns and cities in his local service area. Here's the rub. When he verified his Google Business Profile he used his work address which was in a very small town about 15 miles from the major city he gets all his customers from. He is number 1 in the 3-Pack for that small town but of course, that means nothing because it gets almost no searches for his trade there.

He added all the large towns and the major city in his local service area but gets no traction in the GBL search results for that large city. He also has a work address (still should probably be a local service area) in that major city. He wants to change his GBP to that address. How can he do this?

He has a responsive website, good on-page, and off-page SEO, citations (with his new large city address), backlinks, etc. He ranks high in Google organic search results for relevant search terms but not even close in the GBP search results. It's a city with a 200,000+ population but the competition is weak. He should dominate.

Then, as I began to help him I noticed his business now has a duplicate GBP with the address he wants to change his original GBL to. It's unclaimed and of course unverified. Probably caused by his citations.

Should we claim his duplicate GBP that shows his address in the large city, get it verified then remove his original "small town" GBP? If so, I believe we can use the same company phone number. However, if we were to claim it, verify it, and list it as a second business location I believe he would have to use a different company phone number (which he does have).

I would appreciate any advice and suggestions on how to do this effectively. Thank you.

According to @whitespark 's article on the topic, you have to

go to Google’s Business Support form and tell them that your business has moved and that you need one of their software engineers to change the verification address on the back end. Do not say anything about rankings!!! If you do, they’re going to send you their template response about how to improve your rankings on Google.

This seems to be... less than useful amounts of information (compared to what I know I need to provide in other instances), and the lack of statement to the effect that he has successfully managed to do so does not fill me with confidence. In fact I have JUST received an email in an answer to an attempt which is a template "how to move your business" (this is explicitly NOT the problem) and the following statement:

Furthermore, please be informed that we won't be able to change the initial address as it is the major attribute for a business profile. If you wish to do so, you can add an address and request for a postcard for that location.
Which is a polite way to tell me to get lost.
 
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This information about asking support to change the address on the back end is something I heard from @keyserholiday. He may have some suggestions on how to word the request to support.
 
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To change the address, you simply add the new address to the listing. If, weeks later, it is not ranking in the new area, that's when you have an issue to reach out to support about.

Because this issue isn't widespread, the majority of the people picking up these cases at Google will have no clue what you're talking about. So IF this issue ends up happening, you might be better off trying the Google help forum since the Product Experts are familiar with this issue.
 
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To change the address, you simply add the new address to the listing. If, weeks later, it is not ranking in the new area, that's when you have an issue to reach out to support about.

Because this issue isn't widespread, the majority of the people picking up these cases at Google will have no clue what you're talking about. So IF this issue ends up happening, you might be better off trying the Google help forum since the Product Experts are familiar with this issue.

"Not widespread"? We have not made a single move for a SAB in the last two year that didn't have this problem. I have a spreadsheet to track them.
 
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Then we should open up a bug with Google. I think SABs moving in general isn't something that will happen constantly compared to the other issues like losing reviews. That being said, if you are seeing it happen every single time it might make them prioritize it more.

To send it to Google I'd need a thread on the Google community with the information about the businesses and proof of what is going on. Feel free to DM me the link when you post it.
 
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We have been displaying addresses for most of these (as I mentioned above, sales won't let the rankings tank for the sake of something with such an uncertain and far off outcome), but there are three at least that I can share who refuse to show the address.
 

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