Blueviolet38

Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2020
Messages
9
Hi and thanks for adding me. I've been reading a lot of threads on here the last few days and it's been very informative. I own a SAB with a virtual address/office that's hidden and I am looking for ways to make this less risky moving forward. There is someone at the address answering the phone but they are not from our company. According to some other threads I read here, this is against Google's T+C but is maybe not the absolute worst crime when it comes to GMB pages? I could be wrong on that but I see three ways forward from here and would like to get your thoughts. Another point worth noting is that I run the business out of state so am unable to use my home address as my SAB address.

1. Rent an office in the city. We could do this and have someone there for periods of the day but probably not all day. Our business doesn't really need someone in an office all day but we could rent something, put a sign up, and maybe have people pop by during the day.
2. Use the address of a member of staff. This seems complicated as if they ever left it may get a bit difficult, but I could potentially pay them?
3. Stick with the virtual address/office and perhaps get a soft suspension? This way we keep our reviews and don't risk our ranks at this time and can move our address if we are ever prompted by Google. I'd be interested to get people's thoughts based on what I've said if our business would warrant a hard suspension or not? Our listing is very well maintained with lots of reviews etc.

Thanks again for all the great threads offering advice on here and your help on this matter.
 

Phil Rozek

Local Search Expert
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Joined
Jul 26, 2012
Messages
1,680
@Blueviolet38, neither #1 nor #2 is less risky than #3. Each of those has risks, but #1-2 also involve work and a change that Google needs to approve, which it may no do.

So strictly in terms of "which way is least likely to get you in hot water" I'd go with #3 (sticking with the current address). Not that I'm recommending it as a great idea, or saying it's risk-free. The virtual office is against Google's guidelines, as you know.
 

Blueviolet38

Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2020
Messages
9
@Blueviolet38, neither #1 nor #2 is less risky than #3. Each of those has risks, but #1-2 also involve work and a change that Google needs to approve, which it may no do.

So strictly in terms of "which way is least likely to get you in hot water" I'd go with #3 (sticking with the current address). Not that I'm recommending it as a great idea, or saying it's risk-free. The virtual office is against Google's guidelines, as you know.
I appreciate your input. I also have a much smaller company that's 3 or so years younger and it is in a similar situation. It probably make more sense to try to legitimize that one...
 

Blueviolet38

Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2020
Messages
9
Also, just a quick follow-up question. Can office addresses be hidden on GMB? If say a SAB has an office location for supplies but they don't man it during all business hours, would that qualify as an SAB address or does it need to be a residential address? Thanks again for your help!
 

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