Akuta

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Problem-- I'm preparing to setup a client's local business that's in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles. We want to get him ranking for Los Angeles queries; however, irregardless of the fact that Sherman Oaks is a neighborhood of Los Angeles, USPS and Google default the city to being Sherman Oaks if its using his zipcode 91403. Localeze (I think) or one of the other major sources wouldn't even accept the address as Los Angeles as well (error was to due with USPS not accepting it). Google does accept Los Angeles at least though.

Question-- Would everyone agree or disagree that it'd be a mistake to use this address to try to rank for LA queries?

I'm thinking it'd be worth just paying for a VO near epicenter at this point but I'm really not sure.
 

Linda Buquet

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The city in the address needs to be whatever the real address is.

And I would not even try a virtual location. I don't think it would be ethical or even right to suggest something to client if it could get them suspended.

They likely would not rank for LA anyway.

I'd focus effort and that virtual office budget on some good solid on-site SEO and try to get them ranking in LA in the organic results.
 

Akuta

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The city in the address needs to be whatever the real address is.

And I would not even try a virtual location. I don't think it would be ethical or even right to suggest something to client if it could get them suspended.

They likely would not rank for LA anyway.

I'd focus effort and that virtual office budget on some good solid on-site SEO and try to get them ranking in LA in the organic results.

I completely agree with you, however do you have any opinion on how the neighborhood being considered the city over LA would affect ranking for LA queries? I've used VOs and had great success, and although it may be risky long-term, wasting months trying to make this work for LA when USPS and Google don't understand what Sherman Oaks is could be even worse.

(In the end this is a SAB so I don't think it's a question of being ethical when it comes VOs... Google has already crossed all lines allowing Yelp search query pages to take the top 3-4 organic listings and letting everyone break their own guidelines in local search anyway. But I digress... I respect your opinion over my own anyway.)
 
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