Service Area Question

Eric Rohrback

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Oct 3, 2012
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I'm currently having an issue with a client where they've dropped into the "we currently do no support this location" category. It's kind of an odd situation... They're a carpet cleaning business which serves customers at their home (like most), but they also offer a storefront which lets customers drop off area rugs and other smaller carpeting to get cleaned/repaired. Currently they have a service area marked off, but are not hiding their address.

Would having a storefront qualify them to have a service area which they travel to as well as NOT hiding their address? That's what I thought since they actually see customers at the location... Am I in the right here or did I mess up?
 

Linda Buquet

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Jun 28, 2012
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If you look at their address on maps what does it look like if you didn't know any better? A house? A shed? A warehouse? A commercial office?

Let me know then I'll give you more of an answer.
 

Linda Buquet

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Well actually I should explain more, but the Q above still stands.

But here's the deal IMHO on the hide your address rule. Google maybe would not like me saying this but again this is just how I see it.

What the rule says does not matter a whole lot. AND what the reality is for that business does not matter a whole lot either.

The rule says IF YOU DON'T see customers at your location hide your address.

The key is WHAT IS THE ALGO going to think? The algo does not understand every real world situation or investigate or know one carpet cleaner has a drop off location and another does not. The algo also in general is not very good at making exceptions or analyzing unique situations. The aglo usually paints with a pretty broad brush and lumps everyone into the same category.


The algo (again IHMO) is a fairly dumb software problem programmed for general mainstream business cases. Carpet cleaners NORMALLY go out to service clients. So that's what the algo is trained to think. Carpet cleaners and several other SABs also tend to be very spammy categories and tend to often be residential offices. So businesses like carpet cleaners already have many strikes against them I think in the eyes of a very generically defined algo.

The reason I asked what the location looks like, is because if they trip a filter or just are in a location or an industry where Google is doing a manual sweep, I think the moderators look at the location on maps. Both street view and sat view. Then based on what they see decide on next step. (An instant whack, verification call or whatever.)

So if it's a residential office I say DEF hide. I don't care if they allow customers to drop off, it's just too risky and there is a high chance they will get whacked.

BUT if it was my client, knowing everything I know and seeing thousands of businesses that have been down for months, many crying that they could go out of business - even if it was a commercial office, staffed full time, I would still advise being safe rather than sorry and hiding address. Again that's only if they are in those very specific service area businesses that normally only service on-site AND the industries Google seems to be targeting. Off the top of my head, those industries are carpet cleaners, pest control, plumbers, roofers, taxis, towing companies, moving companies, locksmiths, those types of companies.

Since hiding address does not affect ranking, I'd rather have a hidden address and still be listed than risk having no listing at all.

So my candid 2 cents. And I realize I am a little one-sided because I live in the G forum where all the problems show up so I mainly see lots of problems. There are probably lots of businesses that have gotten away with NOT hiding address. I just think it's a big risk. And it sounds like your client may have gotten whacked.

Have you tried searching for phone on maps? Because sometimes that link just does not sync and the listing is fine. Have you tried a poke?

Did you keep a record of the CID OR FTID? If so there is some stuff we can research in MapMaker.
 

Eric Rohrback

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That's the approach I wanted to take (hiding the address), but the client made a huge fuss about how they want their location to be shown (since they allow people to drop items off). It was pretty confusing, and I did think about how the "dumb algo" would have seen it... carpet cleaner... service area... etc... etc... lol.

I did find them in mapmaker, although they are listed under a different name. I found it strange that a bot changed the business name 20 or so times back and forth. Either way, they are there and there only seems to be a couple of discrepancies. Their office looks like a small building behind a gas station, which seems fine and tagged right.

I have a feeling that they got whacked because they're a SAB who was showing their address, and I think moving forward I'll try to convince them to hide the address. I just needed a second opinion to make sure that was the correct course of action. I'm probably going to use a couple of paragraphs you wrote below, since you explained the algo quite well :D

Once I correct that, do you think they'll be in limbo indefinitely or has Google gotten better about bringing back listings which are within the guidelines? I've seen a few come out of pending or at least start showing in G+Local over the past couple of weeks.
 

Linda Buquet

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Jun 28, 2012
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14,436
Sounds like that MM listing is a dupe not the original. If you just did a phone search and the claimed listing is nuked, it could be invisible and you found the dupe. That's why I asked if you kept a record of the CID OR FTID? (Which in my training now I say is really best practice for troubleshooting these days.)

Once I correct that, do you think they'll be in limbo indefinitely or has Google gotten better about bringing back listings which are within the guidelines? I've seen a few come out of pending or at least start showing in G+Local over the past couple of weeks.
Are we talking pending now or 'do not support' because my answer would be diff for each and in 1st post it sounded like 'do not support' not pending.

If that's the case and we are talking 'do not support' then just ticking the "hide my ass" box won't magically bring it back. You need to use troubleshooter and report missing listing.

I believer that major glitch they had that prevented them from restoring all the 'do not support' listings has been resolved. But IF and how fast they choose to restore whacked listings is not yet clear. :eek:
 

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