Disadvantage of Service Areas in Google Places

Recently, Google added support for Service Areas to its Google Places management system. This allows you to register businesses that mostly go to clients’ locations, rather than having the clients come to the business. It also allows you to prevent the address in your Google Places listing from showing.

This is especially welcome for home-based businesses, who might not want to list their home address on the internet for all to see.

Businesses owners should realize that there is a significant disadvantage to this approach, however. A large part of Google ranking calculation is based upon the Citations a listing has received. Citations are pages that Google has found that list the company’s name, phone number and address (and are trusted by Google).

Yes, you can list your home-based business with Google and prevent the address from showing within Google, but you’re going to have a harder time building citations. You can try listing just your company name and phone number, but those citations tend to not be as strong.

So, do you use your home address or not? At the end, it comes down to a value judgment, but you need to be aware of the pros and cons of various approaches.