PaulJBis

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Hello:

New poster here, please be gentle :). I have a client who recently created a local Google Business profile on his own. He added his home as a physical address and added the entire country as a service area (it's a freight shipping business). Now he has the typical problem: when searching for his business name, the Google search result shows his home Street View picture.

I have been searching around, and it looks like the best choice would be to reclassify his business as a Service Area Business (although he covers the entire country, in practice his primary market will be the regions closest to his home base). The problem is that I'm not exactly sure how to do it, since currently the Google Business UI doesn't have a way to "hide" the address that we have entered (I understand that there used to be a checkbox for that). Some posts I've seen say that we should just delete the address we have entered, but I am concerned that this might affect our search results (since they depend on the address and not on the service area). I should mention, BTW: the address has recently got verified via postcard.

I have searched in this forum, and haven't found any specifics about this particular case. Should I just delete the address we entered then?
 

Phil Rozek

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@PaulJBis, yes, the only way to prevent your client's address from showing is to remove the address from the GMB page. As of 2018, there's no longer a "hide address" box in GMB. (There still is on many local directories, though.)

That won't affect your rankings much or at all. Sometimes businesses with hidden addresses seem less likely to rank for very location-sensitive, "near me"-type search terms. But those would not matter at all to a freight business, like your client's.
 

PaulJBis

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Thanks a lot for the answer. My understanding is that, since our address was verified, Google still has it even if we delete it from our page, and it will take it into account in search results. Is that the case?
 

Rich Owings

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Thanks a lot for the answer. My understanding is that, since our address was verified, Google still has it even if we delete it from our page, and it will take it into account in search results. Is that the case?
Yes, it will still impact where you rank. Also, I believe there have been reports of suspended listings when you remove the address, so be prepared for having to file a reinstatement request.
 

UKSBD

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Google don't seem to realise that some people who provide mobile services in a particular area don't always live or have an office near that area. :(
 

Phil Rozek

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@PaulJBis, what @Rich Owings and @UKSBD said. Yes, Google still will know your address, and will still take it into account when deciding where you rank, just because the Maps results are always at least somewhat location-sensitive.

Also, yes, removing the street address may trigger re-verification.
 

PaulJBis

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Yes, it will still impact where you rank. Also, I believe there have been reports of suspended listings when you remove the address, so be prepared for having to file a reinstatement request.

Ugh. Well, I'll consult with my client and see what we do.

Am I wrong, or service areas actually don't impact the search results at all? (At least that the conclusion I've gotten after reading this forum). I wonder why Google added them in the first place... unless they are planning to take them into account in the future.
 

Phil Rozek

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@PaulJBis, correct. The GMB "service area" does not affect your rankings. It exists just to show people (who search for a business and see it in the knowledge panel) what the business's service area is.
 

UKSBD

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I did some experimenting years ago
Business listings had an lrd number
example = lrd=0x4870d5467cdf4f29:0xb2cd4994ffafcb82

the number after the 2nd 0x ( b2cd4994ffafcb82 ) in this example is the HEX of your Google CID number (effectively identifying the business)

It was a bit of a mystery what the number after the 1st 0x was ( the 4870d5467cdf4f29 in this example)

Some of my listings had exactly the same 1st number, I checked other local business and all started with 4870d a few miles away it would change to 4870c

My conclusion was that the 1st number related to where you initially set your location and it didn't matter if the business moved, that number always stayed the same
 

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