Huge Change for Service Area Businesses in Google My Business


consultant

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Sep 29, 2015
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Don't make the mistake I did and enter your address in there as it triggers a new physical address postcard verification. Apparently Google's Best & Brightest aren't working in the GMB group as they really laid an egg on this one. They could easily add some more descriptive information to the interface to avoid this confusion.
 

Ampere

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Feb 9, 2018
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Thanks.

I was lucky that right before trying to enter my address I came searching for this and found this thread.

It looks like everything is setup correctly, they apparently know where I am based out of but it does not show on the map which I like since I use my home address.
 

JoyHawkins

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Jul 18, 2012
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Just confirming that we're seeing the same thing here. Currently, you still rank based on the address you used for verification, not the city you set as your service area.
 

Ampere

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Just confirming that we're seeing the same thing here. Currently, you still rank based on the address you used for verification, not the city you set as your service area.
Do you think it will ever change? That would give people too much ability to just enter a very large service area and for each company it would create too much competition, right?

For example, I come up first in the 3-pack in my town because there is limited competition of electrician who are based out of my town. But if every contractor that wanted to work in my town (hundreds) could just enter my town into their Service Areas in GMB, I would be fighting all of them for the 3-pack.

And then the one company who has the best SEO would dominate all 100+ towns that they entered as their Service Areas.
 

Phil Rozek

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Jul 26, 2012
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@Ampere, I've always found that the "service area" setting is just a suggestion to Google, and that it has little or no effect on rankings. For the reason you alluded to. It's mostly so customers can look in the right-hand knowledge panel and say, "By gum, it looks like they serve my town."

As I've always said, that setting is like a Christmas wish-list. Just because you put 50 things on the list doesn't mean you'll get even a fifth of 'em.
 

JoyHawkins

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Yesterday I observed several listings that had a SUPER tiny service area set on their listing. I believe Google has now removed the radius targeting completely from listings that were using it and replaced it with just their zip code as the service area. Does anyone have a listing that was still using the radius targeting that can confirm? They removed the option to ADD a radius several months ago but all the listings that previously had it stayed the same up until this point, I believe.
 

Simon Cox

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Dec 31, 2018
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I had one client end of last year where I had put The United Kingdom as her service area and GMB decided this included the UK Military base on Cyprus in the Mediterranean so the rad area of the map went in a big triangle across most of Europe. I have since changed this to England and the area is now around the coast of mainland England (and Wales). Which isn't answering Joy's question at all. Sorry.
 

Ian Hammond

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Oct 15, 2018
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Yesterday I observed several listings that had a SUPER tiny service area set on their listing. I believe Google has now removed the radius targeting completely from listings that were using it and replaced it with just their zip code as the service area. Does anyone have a listing that was still using the radius targeting that can confirm? They removed the option to ADD a radius several months ago but all the listings that previously had it stayed the same up until this point, I believe.
Hi Joy. I am still seeing a radius for just one of our clients. Otherwise, yes, not seeing radius service areas for clients we still just had a radius to work off of. That one client still has some pending changes from last week when we had to momentarily switch their category to be able to dump out single.platform.

 
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Ian Hammond

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@JoyHawkins following up:
When I cleared the addresses of two of our clients the radius showed back up within ~15 minutes:


It might be a temporary fix, or glitch, but worked this morning at least.
(That image from our Maine client is a great example of how bad the bluntness of radius based service areas are).
Unfortunately, this "trick" also seems to hide the primary business category in the knowledge panel, which has been discussed here [Missing Data Alert] Knowledge Panel Seems to Have Removed Physical City Data - Local Search Forum (still showing in Local Pack)
 
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leilamartin

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Just watched a hour long live presentation on this. We have been able to use 20 miles as our "service area" since we go into people's homes. Not any more. I was allowed to put in all the zip codes that we service. We shall see what happens. According to the presentation - some of this has to do with the massive growth of Voice Search and the search phrase "near me" associated with what they are looking for. We shall see what happens.
 

JoshuaMackens

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Sep 12, 2012
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Just watched a hour long live presentation on this. We have been able to use 20 miles as our "service area" since we go into people's homes. Not any more. I was allowed to put in all the zip codes that we service. We shall see what happens. According to the presentation - some of this has to do with the massive growth of Voice Search and the search phrase "near me" associated with what they are looking for. We shall see what happens.
Hey @leilamartin, what presentation was this if you don't mind sharing?
 

ssjd2000

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Mar 14, 2019
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I have a service area business but also a location/showroom. Right now the the service area is still showing a 50 miles radius. Should I edit it and change it to cities or zip codes now? Leary about changing it since I am in three pack in my city and neighboring cities.
 

consultant

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Sep 29, 2015
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Yes, this type of thread gets people panicky. Seems the bottom line is that no consensus has been arrived at as far as the reality of the current situation at Google and therefore no one should jump to start entering zip codes in their listings?
 

brettmandoes

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Nov 2, 2018
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I must admit, I am watching this thread and our accounts very closely. I would need to audit and update at least 170 listings if this happened. Would be a nightmare.
 

Ian Hammond

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Has anyone else had their new service area rejected by Google? It was a combination of counties and townships that encompassed the Chicago Southland and NW Indiana. Legitimately their service area. Not much mention of the specific towns or counties on their website but plenty of mention of their home city and the Chicago Southland, Illinois, Indiana, and northwest Indiana.



The Google call rep I spent an ~hour with yesterday insisted this was a user/customer "Suggest an Edit". To the best that I can find on any number of GMBs I checked, changing the Service Areas is not suggest and edit option.
 
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JoshuaMackens

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Has anyone else had their new service area rejected by Google? It was a combination of counties and townships that encompassed the Chicago Southland and NW Indiana. Legitimately their service area. Not much mention of the specific towns or counties on their website but plenty of mention of their home city and the Chicago Southland, Illinois, Indiana, and northwest Indiana.

View attachment 3944

The Google call rep I spent an ~hour with yesterday insisted this was a user/customer "Suggest an Edit". To the best that I can find on any number of GMBs I checked, changing the Service Areas is not suggest and edit option.
Sounds like you spoke with someone on the phone or chat. It sounds like something they would say. Phone and chat are difficult to work with and are often misleading in what they say.
 

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