Last March, Google introduced the ability to hide the address for at home and service businesses that do not want clients driving to their locations. At the time, the feature, while useful, also managed to hide your business listing deep in the index. With the rollout of Places Search in October, the feature became more useful as your listing would now show on the new local organic blended results (although still not in the traditional 7-Pack).
One of the reasons that some SMB’s choose to hide their address is that they don’t want the security risk of exposing their home address. Be warned however, that there is “leakage” in the data and it is still possible to find the actual address and or business at that address even if the feature to hide it is selected in your Places Dashboard.
Justin Blase, an SEO in the St. Paul area sent along these screen shots showing just some of the ways that the data can be surfaced for a “hidden” address:
There are other Google vectors that display this information so be alert. If your purpose for choosing to use the feature is security you are deluding yourself. You not only won’t show on traditional 7-Pack results (a pretty big penalty) but there is no real security.