Just read the Google Places (now Google+ Local) Guidelines:
If you don’t conduct face-to-face business at your location, you must select “Yes, this business serves customers at their locations” under the “Service Areas and Location Settings” section of your dashboard, and then select the “Do not show my business address on my Maps listing” option.
If you have a home-based business, have no storefront, you go out to service your Customers where they are at, and Customers don’t usually come to your office, then you have to hide your address in your Google+ Local business listing. If you don’t and your listing gets pinched, don’t go crying later – you’ve been warned! We lost a couple listings with our clients 2 months ago by not being on top of this. It’s shame Google can just change their rules, with little or no warning. I would imagine most service based small businesses have no idea about this major change.
Google wants clear classification of your business model so that their Customers (Searchers using Google’s search engine) have a good user experience. If you don’t have a storefront, then Google doesn’t want you to show your address to their Searchers who might visit your location and not get a good user experience. If you choose to show and not hide your business address, then you run the risk of losing your business listing.
Here is Google’s breakdown of types of businesses:
- Type 1: Your business is brick-and-mortar and serves all of its customers at its location. What to do? Show your address.
- Type 2: Your business is home-based and serves a few customers at your home and others on the road. Show your address and use the Service Radius tool.
- Type 3: Your business is home-based and doesn’t serve any customers at all at your home. Hide your address.”
Now even though “Type 2″ is available, it is still a risk to show your address because they seem to be more focused on the home-based V.S. the traditional storefront distinction. Don’t cry ‘unfair’, because it is their platform you want to be listed on and they are in the position of making all the rules.
Have you had your listing deleted? Share some of your experiences in the comment section below about what happened when you did or didn’t hide your address on your Google Places or Google+ Local business listing.
Other ‘Hide Your Address’ Google Places Blog Post Resources Worth Reading: