Service Area - Zip Codes vs. Counties

Niki Gross

Aug 14, 2019
Has anyone seen changes to service areas for SAB clients within the GMB dashboard that you did not initiate? I have multiple listings with edits to service area - which I'm aware Google could have pulled from other sources. Some listings show a reduced number of zip codes (not surprising considering the new limit of 20) while other listings are showing counties as the service area. Are both counties and zip codes accepted?


Jun 17, 2019
I have seen service areas added to GMB listings that were not initiated by the admins (GMB owners, managers, etc.) of a listing.

Quick zip code rant...
  • Zip codes are commonly mistaken as being geographies.
  • Zip codes are really just for making delivering mail more efficient for the USPS.
  • The area a zip code represents on the map may coincide with the service area for a business, but some zip codes can have very odd shapes that typically would not be limitations for a business to provide service in the real world.
  • Generally speaking, I would recommend using neighborhoods, city names, or counties to represent the areas the business serves over zip code.
    • However there are some zip codes hold a certain amount of prestige (eg 90210) and are more commonly used as a search term.
  • Zip codes are not invalid to provide, but they can be limiting in ways that are not always obvious.


Local Search Expert
LocalU Faculty
Sep 1, 2016
Hi Niki,
Google automatically converted a lot of service-areas on listings to be within the limit of 20 during the past day or so. Some of the auto conversions that I have seen didn't go so well.
Yes, you can combine different types. So you can pick a combination of zip codes, cities, counties, etc as entries for the service area.

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