Alana Balbes

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I am currently working with a franchise system where most of them use UPS boxes because the box is centrally located in their service area and they have no storefront. However, I am having a big issue when it comes to a certain decision. I obviously can't use a UPS box on Google without running the risk of getting completely kicked off, so my thinking is to use their home address and hide it although it won't be in their service area per se. However, their website has their UPS box address and that is what I am loading across the rest of the directories. Do you suggest to load the home address and put it on the website across the web, or is it okay if Google's address is the home address and is hidden, but the rest of the directories are a different one? I am trying to find the best approach to this huge problem we've been having. Any recommendations would be great!
 

Linda Buquet

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Here are my thoughts, although others that deal with citations more than I do may have better feedback.

But being a bit of a Places purist here goes.

Even though you hide the address from the public - Google still sees what's in the dash and tries to match that up with citations around the web. This helps establish the business is REAL and helps establish authority and prominence.

If all the citations are for a different address than what's in dash then...

1) If the address in dash is not listed on the most important resource, their own web site OR on any other citations it could look like a bogus listing.

2) It could hurt their ranking.

3) It could cause Google to create dupes, then you have more problems.

So I would build out citations with the address that's in dash. But again if competitive market, they are mainly going to rank in whatever city they are located in - not the bigger city next door that's their target market.
 

Alana Balbes

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Thank you! That is very helpful. It's just so tricky with the service-based companies who don't have a storefront, let alone centrally located in their service area! I suppose if I had to end up using their home address, I could always try my best to get the service area zip codes to help them to rank but not sure if that'll help a ton or not.
 

Linda Buquet

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The service area settings don't help rank in areas you aren't located in at all. That is just mainly to show the areas you are willing to travel to.

And with hidden addresses, need to be careful how you set it up. If you just add a bunch of zips or 3 cities for example - it will drop your marker smack in the middle - even if it's a field out in the boonies. Best service area setting is the city the address is in and 20 - 30 mile radius. Again that's not going to help them rank in the big metro next door even if they are close. Best way to try to rank outside the city your address is in - is via organic, unless it's a low competition market.
 
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