Jul 25, 2012
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What might the best practice be for the "Service Areas and Location Settings" for a business that is based out of a home yet they serve all of United States (yet local search terms would also apply)?

I assume I need to choose "Yes, this business serves customers at their locations", but what about the other settings I mention below?
1. Do not show my business address on my Maps listing

a. Is this box required to be checked for home-based businesses, or is that taken care of with the 'Yes, this business serves customers at their locations' setting?

b. Does hiding the address work better for home based businesses with a national reach? I do not want their local rankings to suffer either, though.

2. Distance from one location
- I don't want to limit the business to a certain distance radius from their home

3. List of areas served
- I can't choose 'United States' (it says "No area matched, please try again")
- I don't want to limit it to a list of a few States

Service Areas and Location Settings.jpg

Service Areas and Location Settings.jpg

Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
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Hi Russ,

Your questions sort of fly in the face of how Google local works. :p I mean I understand what you would LIKE to do for your client, but Google local just does not work like that.

National businesses aren't really supported in Google Local. Plus they aren't going to rank locally for any city accept the one they are located in anyway. Does not matter how big you set the radius, they will normally only rank in the city their address is in. UNLESS it's a really niche industry with low competition, in which case their KWs may not pull local results at all.

Test yourself. Search City Plumber and check any city you want. The only page one listings you'll find have addresses in that city, not 3 cities over, much less 3 states over. (Regardless how they have service areas set up.) If they did, then it would not longer be 'local' results.

Plus I believe the wider you set your radius the more it can water down your rankings for your actual homebase. Setting a wide radius is more of a scatter gun approach. Best practice recommendation is 20 mile radius.

Not certain why you would think the hide your address rule would be any different or less strict for a national business? It's probably stricter if anything.

The rule is: "If you don't conduct face-to-face business at your location" So if that applies you need to hide. However the reality is even if a business sometimes has clients come to their home, they still need to hide - because if a Google moderator looks on maps and it looks like a house or apartment, they are likely to get nuked.

"Does hiding the address work better for home based businesses with a national reach? I do not want their local rankings to suffer either, though."

Does not really matter if or how hiding address affects rankings because the only thing that's certain is that if they DO get deleted for violating the rule then they have no listing at all and no chance of ranking anywhere at all.

There are hundreds of thousands of listings that have been deleted. Many have been down for months. Even starting a new listing does not work. So IMO this guideline is nothing to even wonder about. Just have to be safe and do it.

But in general for a national business, other than the home town, should put all your energy into organic rankings.
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