Home Office Address - Low Cost Alternatives to using a PO Box Address

consultant

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On Google and Bing Local, I believe you can select to not have the business address shown. This is typically used for by appointment only type businesses or people who run their business out of their homes. So your business can show up in Google Maps search, Bing Map, Apple Map results for your area but without an address.

However there are many other local search engines (Yellow Pages, Super Pages, etc.) that your local citation can find it's way to without you publishing directly to those pages. In many cases the home business may also have a PO Box.

So what is the most fulproof method to get in the local searches for your area but never have your home business address shown? Don't publish citations to any other service until your are listed on Google/Bing/Yelp with your address hidden and then publish your PO Box address to the other second-tier cites?
 

consultant

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Low Cost Alternatives to using a PO Box Address - Any advantages?

I have a home based business. I know on the like of Google Places, you can opt to hide your physical address. However I'm concerned there's risk of my home address still finding it's way into citations on other directories.

I also have a USPS P.O. Box which I would use for my business address instead (except on sites where I can opt to hide the address and am sure they won't sure my address.)

Would there be any advantage to getting a mailing address that isn't a PO Box (UPS Store mailbox). I would guess some of the lesser directories aren't as smart as Google about figuring out if the address is a mailbox provider but also may be smart enough to discount PO Boxes (or even forbid using them.)

So the jist of my question is, is there any advantage to getting a non-PO box mailing address (like UPS store) as far getting listings in places like SuperPages, Yellow Pages, Dex Knows, etc. I've been using the PO Box for a long time so I'm probably going to have to have both then as it will take a while to update my mailing address with all the companies I've done/do business with.
 

Linda Buquet

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Re: Low Cost Alternatives to using a PO Box Address - Any advantages?

These questions were so similar and in other categories, so merged them both and moved to Service Area Business issues, which seems to be the best place.
 

Colan Nielsen

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Re: Low Cost Alternatives to using a PO Box Address - Any advantages?

So the jist of my question is, is there any advantage to getting a non-PO box mailing address (like UPS store) as far getting listings in places like SuperPages, Yellow Pages, Dex Knows, etc. I've been using the PO Box for a long time so I'm probably going to have to have both then as it will take a while to update my mailing address with all the companies I've done/do business with.
You would be doing yourself a disservice by creating citations with a different address then your official physical business address. You would essentially be telling Google that you have two addresses for the same business which would cause some NAP inconsistency issues.

There are several lists floating around out there that list all the sites that allow you to hide the business address. At the end of the day, the address of a local business is bound to get picked up by a search engine or an IYP or a data aggregator of some type or another eventually. So I don't think it's worth worrying about too much.
 

consultant

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Re: Low Cost Alternatives to using a PO Box Address - Any advantages?

I think that is along is there is no NAP information existing on any site other than sites that allow you to opt to hide the address, the probablity of it getting out there SHOULD be very low. Luckily for this business there are no existing NAP citations ANYWHERE despite the business being around for over 7 years (except phone on the businesses website.)

Would be helpful if someone could post a link to one of these lists "floating around" ?

When you consider the big picture (and I discussed this in another thread) realistically, Google, Yelp and Bing provide about 90%+ of all Local Search referrals. So if the business is very concerned about their home NAP getting out, they could just focus on these three (trusting they don't share the NAP with other directories) and know they have most the local search base covered.

Apple Maps I'm a little more concerned about as from what I understand they draw from multiple sources so how do you prevent your address from being listed on Apple Maps?
 

Eric Rohrback

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Re: Low Cost Alternatives to using a PO Box Address - Any advantages?

what you need to consider is that it isn't just local directories that could have your business information listed. Government agencies, news outlets, and official business records will have your business information which will be used to verify information. Your data will be sold off to data firms like InfoGroup, Localeze or Acxiom which will then sell to the local directories. The information from the local directories (and the previously mentioned agencies) will be collected/scraped by Google, clustered, and then indexed into their own maps system.

When you start injecting conflicting information into the system, that's when you wind up with duplicates and dopplegangers (not quite dupes, but look pretty similar). Those contribute to ranking problems down the road.

So to answer your question whether to buy a UPS store box for the purpose of using the address for local citations, I would ask you to consider a scenario where that information spreads beyond local directories you want to control. Once it's out there it spreads like a virus, and will create issues for the business. If the purpose of the mailbox is to game maps rankings in Google, then I think it's worth the time to examine the business case in a macro view.

What benefit will these sites give you if customers try to visit the location only to see it's a UPS store? How will you guarantee they will get the help they are looking for and won't be confused? What will you do if potential customer start complaining online or you lose business because of this?

Use your real address. If you're running the business out of your home and don't want to show the full address, there's some sites (like you mentioned) that will allow only City,State which will be good. In all reality though if you've already been using a PO box or your home address, that info is already out there. You'll never be able to control the data 100%, but it should be a goal to keep it as consistent as possible.
 

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