More threads by Travis Van Slooten

Jul 18, 2012
Reaction score
Client is a home-based business and does not want to use his home address as his business address for privacy reasons. He lives in Poestenkill, NY. He set up his Google+ Local page using this address (hiding it of course). Here is his listing:

He has a P.O. Box address that he uses as his official business address for mail, etc. This is the "NAP" he uses on his website. The P.O. Box is located in Wynantskill, NY. It appears Google automatically created a duplicate listing because he has numerous citations with this address. Here is the duplicate:
*As a side note, I thought Google didn't allow P.O. Box addresses:confused: Google not only accepts it, it shows it on the listing? What am I missing?

So the question is we use the partial Poestenkill address on his site and all citations (as the official NAP), or do we use the Wynantskill address?

I did the following Google searches to get an idea of current citation inventory and you'll note the results. It's evenly split. He has thousands for both addresses.

"land design" "wynantskill, ny"
7,030 results

"land design" "poestenkill, ny"
7,040 results

Good day Travis,

The guidelines state "Do not create a listing or place your pin marker at a location where the business does not physically exist. P.O. Boxes are not considered accurate physical locations.Your business location should be staffed during its stated hours."

This doesn't mean that Google wouldn't have scraped the data and created a listing anyways from a directory site :)

If he's
[FONT=Helvetica Neue, HelveticaNeue, Helvetica, sans-serif]adamant about hiding his address they you may want to start cleaning up and deleting those NAPs that reference his PO. Box as Google doesn't consider that an accurate location. You can then focus your citation building on sites that also allow you to hide your address.

Here's an article with some sources.

I'm not sure if you can build out citations using only city and state. Some sources will let you but others require full street address.

I'm sure someone else will have a better idea of how to proceed.

Hopefully that was at least slightly helpful.
Thanks Chris. So you're saying you would go with the Poestenkill, NY address for the NAP on his site and in his citations, correct? That's what I was thinking but I needed confirmation.

And yes, we'll concentrate our efforts on sites that allow us to hide the address -and for his site we'll just use the partial NAP. It's not ideal but it will have to do.

You should definitely go with his physical location as P.O. Boxes aren't allowed.

I have one client that made the switch from P.O box to his physical home address even though he wanted it hidden he decided to just put it out there. He was thinking that he would be getting random people showing up at his house but he hasn't had any issues with that...yet :) I'm not sure what the best practice is for onsite partial naps for SABs. This client has but full NAP on his site and seems to be ranking well.
Funny enough, I may have just landed a landscape client. If you have any tips or strategies to share I' love to hear them :)

This is actually my first landscape client too:D I agree the partial NAP isn't ideal but it's the best I can do since he doesn't want his address shown. It was either go partial or nothing.


Funny enough, I may have just landed a landscape client. If you have any tips or strategies to share I' love to hear them :)


I?d still go with the full street address, but just be adamant about hiding your client?s address. More major sites give you this option than they used to. When I wrote the first ?private? citations post a year-and-a-half ago, I don?t believe ExpressUpdate and Acxiom would let you hide your address. Now they do. It?s not like a determined weirdo couldn?t find your client?s address anyway.

O.K. I'm confused. You said you would go with the full street address but be adamant about hiding it:confused: So are you saying we should use the full address on the site but hide it on directories?

Doh. I was just referring to the directories. Yeah, I'd just go with partial address on the site,
O.K. got it. Partial address on the site and hide the address (on those directories that allow it).

I agree about the privacy stuff. If someone really wanted to figure it out they could. Some people are just really nervous about that stuff though. I'm not one of them:)

I wish Moz Local had a checkbox for hiding the address, and a way to only push it to services that allow it to be hidden!

Login / Register

Already a member?   LOG IN
Not a member yet?   REGISTER

LocalU Event

Live Webinar - Local SEO Audits

  Promoted Posts

New advertising option: A review of your product or service posted by a Sterling Sky employee. This will also be shared on the Sterling Sky & LSF Twitter accounts, our Facebook group, LinkedIn, and both newsletters. More...
Top Bottom