Huge Change for Service Area Businesses in Google My Business

Joined
Jul 23, 2012
Messages
482
If someone creates a brand new SAB listing, I'd love to hear about whether or not you are required to provide an address for verification. This seems unclear.
 

JoyHawkins

Administrator
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Jul 18, 2012
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@Yan Gilbert I've only seen this applied for listings with addresses hidden. I don't think there is any automatic suspension for storefronts that have tons of listings at the same address.
 

JoyHawkins

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Jul 18, 2012
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If someone creates a brand new SAB listing, I'd love to hear about whether or not you are required to provide an address for verification. This seems unclear.
Yes you still need an address to verify, it's just not associated with the listing.
 

Phil Rozek

Local Search Expert
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Jul 26, 2012
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1,486
What's really annoying is GMB won't show you a map of exactly what territory is covered when you add a specific city to target.

Let's say you put in "Los Angeles, CA." Does that cover only LA proper, or also some of the suburbs, or LA County, or the whole general area? Does that make it necessary or excessive also to add a bunch of additional cities or ZIPs?

I guess they could bring back the "preview" map that you'd see up in GMB when you specified your service area, but I'm puzzled as to why Google didn't just keep it from the get-go.
 

Yan Gilbert

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Oct 15, 2016
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Just a heads up, my own listing was previously marked as a hidden SAB. When I checked my account to see the update I noticed that the address that was previously there was now missing. Only the areas that I had previously chosen were showing. I added my address (the same that was there before), I am assuming this will make not a hidden SAB anymore, and once I did that, it is making me re-verify my address by postcard.

Wanted to run some tests but have to wait now.

If anyone has an account that is showing their address but has chosen a service area that is not where their address is, let me know so I can run some Falcon scans on it.

Let's say you put in "Los Angeles, CA." Does that cover only LA proper, or also some of the suburbs, or LA County, or the whole general area? Does that make it necessary or excessive also to add a bunch of additional cities or ZIPs?
We could test that. Need a business listing that has a small service area chosen. If too big an area is chosen, it'll be harder to tell because of a natural drop-off in rankings. Falcon scan could show us if the there is a hard drop off at the perimeter or not.

I know that the radius that was previously there as a choice meant little because I've done scans that rank a business past the radius range.
 

Phil Rozek

Local Search Expert
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Jul 26, 2012
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1,486
@Yan Gilbert, I'm not sure we'd necessarily see a drop-off in rankings if the service area is too big. The size of the service area didn't seem to affect rankings before. Not sure Google would heed it more now.

All I meant was it would be great if Google showed a map of where your service area nominally applies.
 

JoyHawkins

Administrator
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Jul 18, 2012
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2,581
I changed mine listing yesterday for Sterling Sky. So far the only thing it updated was the service area map. My listing currently has no address in the GMB dashboard yet the city displaying on my listing is the city attached to my address - NOT the city I put as my service area. I added "Toronto" as my service area.

See below.

 

Cherie Dickey

Local Search Expert
Joined
Jan 30, 2018
Messages
168
Wow...great discussion!

@Phil Rozek, do you think that maybe Google will be going by the boundaries shown on the Map?


I think it's a possibility.. To be safe, it might be a good idea to use zip codes for places like this where Google might break a city up in this way.
 

BenFisher

Local Search Expert
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Nov 19, 2015
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Just checked Steady Demand did not rank in river place Austin before, since it was broken up like the map above and it is now :)
 

Oleg Donets

Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2018
Messages
19
Great discussion. Thanks for bringing it up! I just saw these new features. So is there any use of this "Add service area" feature for brick-and-mortar businesses?

Thanks
 

chadkimball

Member
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Feb 21, 2014
Messages
194
I'm assuming citations (as a ranking signal) will still be associated with whatever address you use to postcard verify the listing?
 

chadkimball

Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2014
Messages
194
I could see this shifting the landscape quite a bit if google doesn't factor addresses (even hidden one) into the citations count. Especially in the case of bigger brands that have one phone number and the same business name for many different listings in a city
 

Oleg Donets

Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2018
Messages
19
@JoyHawkins, what is your thoughts about "Add service area" feature for brick-and-mortar businesses? Is there any use for this feature for businesses like restaurants, spas, bakeries and other businesses which serve customers at company's location? Thank you!,
 

JoyHawkins

Administrator
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Jul 18, 2012
Messages
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Oleg,

As of right now, it does nothing. Time will tell if that changes.

For now, I would advise no one add their address back in if Google wiped it out. It causes a verification to trigger.
 

Oleg Donets

Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2018
Messages
19
Oleg,

As of right now, it does nothing. Time will tell if that changes.

For now, I would advise no one add their address back in if Google wiped it out. It causes a verification to trigger.
Thanks Joy!
The addresses of our brick-and-mortar clients were not wiped out. They are there. But you would still suggest not to touch "Add service area" feature for these types of businesses because it won't change anything? Did i understand you correctly?
Thank you!
 

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