How Do You Handle Businesses That Have No Business Address?


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I got a call from a potential client today that does A/C repair and installations. He has no business address as it is run out of his home. He doesn't even have a warehouse or anything. He wants to work with me on optimizing his Google+ Local page and doing all the citations but how the heck do I do this without an address? And he doesn't want to use his personal home address either.

I'm thinking we can still do a Google+ Local page and hide the address, but what about citations? I can't really submit citations without an address. I'm also wondering how I handle the NAP on his website if he doesn't have an address.

Any suggestions, tips, advice, etc. would be appreciated!

Thanks,

Travis Van Slooten
 

Linda Buquet

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Since you are not sharing client name or anything is it OK if I make a copy of this and post in the public forum as it's a good topic for everyone? I can leave this copy here too in case you end up sharing the client or we discuss in more detail back here.

Well as for Place page, you need to use home address then of course MUST hide it, to be within guidelines.

Citations I'm not sure. Isn't he in yellow pages or anything? What address has he been using? He must have an address for people to send checks to and stuff?
 
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Yes, he uses his home mailing address for billing clients and the like, but he wants to keep the address private. He doesn't want his business name tied to his home address on all these directories. For one, when you look at it on the map, it shows a home in a residential neighborhood. Second, he doesn't want the public knocking on his door:)

I have to imagine there are thousands of businesses in this situation. You would think all directories would have an option to hide your address.

I'm just wondering what everyone would do in this situation. I'm thinking it's business as usual as far as what I do except I would skip submitting citations and would have to leave out the street address for the NAP on their site.

Travis Van Slooten

P.S. I didn't read the first part of your post...yes, by all means move this to the public side.
 

Linda Buquet

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Thanks for letting me copy it to public forum Travis. I left a copy in private forum too in case it gets more involved and you want to discuss in private.
 

Chris B

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Excellent topic b/c there are alot of business, especially service business like this where guys do work out of their home, especially more so in the last few years trying to cut back on overhead. On one client, I looked at the serps and its a blended results with the top 3 being organic so I informed him of the situation that that's what we will be shooting for and since he didn't want to use his addrss on any citations, that getting ranked in places would be a long shot. That way, if we did get him ranked, it would be a bonus.

What about using a virtual office address?

Chris
 

Colan Nielsen

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In regards to having a business that needs to use their home address because they don't have a business location per se, this is cool as long as you hide the address, correct?

This is how I have always understood it. However, I got a response form a Google employee the other day that got me thinking about this. Here's the response:

"Hello,

Even if the address is hidden, that address still must represent a
contactable business location. It does not appear that the location you've
hidden is a business location. "

If it's your home, of course it's not a business location. Anyone else confused, or am I looking at this through a foggy lens?
 

Linda Buquet

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Colan you ARE looking through a foggy lens, because that's all Google gave you to work with! :confused:

What you say is true, so that's confusing to me too.

"I got a response form a Google employee the other day that got me thinking about this"

Was that in the forum or a support email???
 

Colan Nielsen

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This was a locksmith who was using a UPS address for his listing (big mistake). Google took him down for it. We asked him for a proper address, they decided on a home address to use, we switched it, reported it to Google(to have it reviewed), and they came back with that in one of their responses.

---------- Post Merged at 01:32 PM ---------- Previous Post was at 01:30 PM ----------

This was also in the support response:

"Additionally, phone calls must go directly to your business location
rather than to a dispatch center if you are representing a service area
business of this business type. Thanks for understanding."

---------- Post Merged at 01:33 PM ---------- Previous Post was at 01:30 PM ----------

I reported it again, and I got this response:

"Thanks for your getting in touch with us about your listing not displaying
on Google Maps.
We have identified the cause of your listing not showing and are working
on establishing a pathway to revive dropped listings which meet our
quality guidelines.

We don't have a timeline which we can give for this, but your submission
helps us keep track of this problem and we will be reviewing your listing
once the fix is fully established."
 

Linda Buquet

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Interesting about the dispatch center comment too. I always thought so but had not really seen it spelled out in a support email. So thanks for sharing that Colan!
 
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In the past, I've used virtual office & executive suite providers...but I've also used UPS stores in the past without any problem.

Another thing I've personally found to work (this was within the last year, but not in the past 4 months) is to reach out to look for a commercial realtor. Often times, they have more office space than they know what to do with. Offer to either a.) optimize their business in exchange for addresses or b.) pay 'em X$ per month/per address. (This will likely be less expensive than a virtual office or executive suite.)

Has anyone had any issues using virtual offices/executive suites as of late?
 

Linda Buquet

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Virtual offices and especially UPS store addresses are getting whacked a lot. All it takes is a MakMaker mapper to notice it and the listing will be gone.

I sure would not risk it for one my clients.
 
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Wow...Thanks for the heads up.

I can see it for UPS Stores, but for virtual offices/executive suites, I'm kind of surprised.

Out of curiosity...If an executive suite/virtual office is in a high rise...take this one for example...how does MapMaker prove it's not a real business? Is it solely based on proximity to an executive suite/virtual office provider?
 

Linda Buquet

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Well I think there are different levels of virtual offices. Shades of gray if you will.

There are virtual offices that are really just fake locations to game Google and no one is really there to see customers. But then there are legit Executive Suites that real businesses rent and are physically at.
 
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Sorry I've been away for a few days. After reading the threads, it appears the answer to my question is...there is no answer:D Thanks Google.

My concern is with citations as well. If the business owner doesn't want his home address tied to his business - and he doesn't have a virtual address - then we can't really do citations either, correct?

And getting back to Google, as long as you are an actual business, why does it matter if you have an address or not? Doesn't Google realize many small business owners work from their home? How about having a simple field in the dashboard that allows business owners to check, "This is a home-based business. Hide my address." And then on the public side of the page it says, "This is a home based business." Gee. I guess that would be too simple.

No wonder Marissa left Google...

Travis Van Slooten
 

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