Google Launches New Sign Up Process For Service Area Businesses


JoyHawkins

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Google recently removed addresses in the GMB dashboard for service area businesses and now they have changed the sign-up process so that businesses can sign up and indicate that they don't want their address associated with their Google My Business listing.

I am only seeing this option in some of my accounts. When I go to add a new listing, step 1 is the same (enter the business name):
step-1-sab-png.3423

However, step 2 is different:
sab-step-2-png.3424


The third step asks me to input my service areas and it doesn't ask me for the address at all until I finish and am ready to verify the business. It did not give me the option to verify any way other than by postcard so you still need an address to set the listing up. The final step made it clear that the address isn't going to show visibly to the public.
1542811897194-png.3425


I think this is a good change. Thoughts?
 
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I guess one thing I'm still unclear on, and maybe you can clarify this for me Joy, will Google be monitoring which addresses are being used to verify listings? Would there be anything preventing a bunch of businesses all verifying their listings at the same address?
 

JoyHawkins

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Yeah I would assume, like currently, they would get automatically suspended if Google saw a bunch of listings coming from the same address.
 
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Fair enough! It will be interesting to see the ranking effects of the new switch. This could be really helpful for SAB's that are located outside of big metro areas, who previously struggled to rank in local packs because of proximity limitations.
 

Tim Colling

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This could be really helpful for SAB's that are located outside of big metro areas, who previously struggled to rank in local packs because of proximity limitations.
@Casey Donovan it is for exactly this reason that I speculate that it might be that one day, Google will charge us for using the SAB feature to do that. For now, though, I have the same hope as you do.
 

Phil Rozek

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Thanks, @JoyHawkins. Seems to be a good change, insofar as Google makes the process a little more step-by-step.

The main problem I see is that Google doesn't make it clear to the average GMB user that you can't crank out 17 listings at one address you use only for verification purposes. I suspect that will embolden spammers to throw more listings at the wall and see what sticks.
 

Caroline

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Hi, I'm a bit confused now. A business which already has a GMB listing and is a SAB has had their address removed when I looked tonight. If I add it in, will it provide an option to say hide the address? How does Google know on an established GMB listing that it is a SAB or bricks and mortar? Should the address field remain empty?
 

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