Eric Rohrback

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So at this point we all know of the Google requirement for businesses that if you do not have a physical storefront, you must hide your address. We also know that you cannot use a PO box in a Google+Local listing. My question is whether a home based business should use their home address or their PO Box for other sites like InfoGroup (expressupdateusa), Localeze, etc. My gut tells me that could dilute ranking power because of NAP inconsistency.

If a business owner doesn't want their home address shown publicly, is it needed to get listed on all the other directory sites?
 

Linda Buquet

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My question is whether a home based business should use their home address or their PO Box for other sites like InfoGroup (expressupdateusa), Localeze, etc. My gut tells me that could dilute ranking power because of NAP inconsistency.

If a business owner doesn't want their home address shown publicly, is it needed to get listed on all the other directory sites?

My strong feeling is that if a business is open to it, they should list their home address on IYPs and directories and be sure it matches NAP in the dashboard. I feel pretty certain that even though address is hidden live, Google is still looking for proof the business is legit and they would do that by matching address in dash.

If they only use a PO box for an address publicly that would not help them because that's not the address Google will see in dash.
 

Phil Rozek

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@EsR
I?d say your gut feeling is correct here. What Linda said matches my experience exactly. I?d also add that having the address as crawlable text on your site seems to be a factor, one that Google would triangulate with the address listed in the Dashboard and on third-party sites.

I think you?re going to lose SOME ranking juice if you hide your address everywhere it appears (except in the Dashboard/backend, obviously). It?s just a question of how important privacy is relative to how important rankings are. But it?s not a zero-sum game: you should still be able to rank fine if the other pieces of the local SEO puzzle are in-place.

@Colan
Thanks!

@Linda
Preach it!
 

Eric Rohrback

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Thanks everyone for your input. After paying pretty close attention to the research out there I was pretty positive of what the right move is, but I needed some confirmation from the community. This client is kind of crazy when it comes to hiding her home address... but... unfortunately that's already ruined. I searched just the business phone number and Google SERPs returned page after page connecting the main biz phone with home address. Oh well... looks like it's gonna be a fun project.

Once again, thanks for all the input! You guys are always a great resource.
 
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