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There are some types of businesses that are Service Area Businesses but may also have a physical location (e.g. locksmiths, carpet cleaners, copier repair). Considering that proximity is one of the biggest ranking factors in local/maps searches, how does Google handle the proximity of a SAB?

Let's say you have a business in an industry like these and 99% of your clients never come to your location. They could, but 99% call or contact you online. So, you could really go either way as far as being a Service Area Business or a location-based business. Which do you think is the better option?

Can anyone point to any research or definitive evidence that shows one option is better than the other for search rankings?
 

Linda Buquet

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how does Google handle the proximity of a SAB?

Hi Paul, Google knows where the business is, based on the address in dashboard. However not sure it's as much of a ranking factor for SABs with hidden addresses.

Let's say you have a business in an industry like these and 99% of your clients never come to your location. They could, but 99% call or contact you online. So, you could really go either way as far as being a Service Area Business or a location-based business.

If you play by Google's rules, then you can only use the option to show address if there is someone there during stated hours to greet people in person. Also would need signage if challenged.

Which do you think is the better option?

Can anyone point to any research or definitive evidence that shows one option is better than the other for search rankings?

For ranking it really does not matter. (General consensus from Pros I know and most info I've read.)

There are other considerations however:

Google is removing SABs with hidden addresses from G maps - I think primarily in markets that have HSAs and those markets are expanding.

Some folks think showing address increases trust and consumers are suspicious if they can't look up your address.

Anyone else have anything to weigh in about? Other opinions?
 
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Linda, thanks for replying...

For ranking it really does not matter. (General consensus from Pros I know and most info I've read.)


There are other considerations however:


Google is removing SABs with hidden addresses from G maps - I think primarily in markets that have HSAs and those markets are expanding.


What is an HSA?


I've heard there is no difference in rankings between an SAB and business with a location too, but I've never seen anyone provide any evidence one way or the other.


Proximity is one of the biggest signal in local search rankings. I suppose for a SAB Google could just use the proximity from the address in the GMB listing. But in the real world, proximity doesn't matter for a SAB as long as the SAB serves that location. If I need to go a locksmith to get a key made, all else being equal, I would rather go to one that's 2 miles away rather than 20 miles away. But if I need a locksmith to come to my house, I don't care if they're 2 miles away or 20 as long as they will come out. I'd like to know difinitively whether Google sees it that way or not.
 
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