SABS with Social Local G+ Page – Hide Your Address Now

The process of merging a social G+ Page with a non social G+ Page (AKA a G+ local listing, a Place Page, a non merged G+ page for local) was never intended for use by service area businesses (SABs in Googletalk) that were supposed to hide their address. That didn’t stop them and many of them merged their pages anyways. Google did alert those that did so to delete the +Page and return to a dashboard managed listing but many did not get the memo.

Google has announced in the forums that they have now upgraded the social local G+ Page management interface  to include the feature to hide the address and that SABs that currently have local social pages should hide their address.

Top Level for SABs?

  • If you have merged HIDE YOUR ADDRESS (or risk your listing being buried)
  • If you are in the Dashboard with a Hidden address – STAY THERE
  • DO NOT MERGE if you have not done so already

Here is the announcement:

SABs who already have verified/merged social local G+ page, hide your address:

  • Log into Google+, click Pages on the left, and Manage the page in question
  • Click on Edit business information on the page for your business
  • Click on the pencil next to the address
  • Check the box saying, “My business has service areas where I visit customers at their location.”
  • Uncheck the box saying, “I serve customers at my business address.”
  • Edit service areas as necessary.

Remember, businesses who do not serve customers at the business address should hide their addresses.

*** SABs with hidden address who do not already have verified pages that they created in Google+ should proceed using Google Places for Business at places.google.com. SABs with hidden address should not create new local pages in Google+. ***

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
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8 thoughts on “SABS with Social Local G+ Page – Hide Your Address Now”

  1. OK, I’m still confused. I have a client who has a house cleaning service which he runs from his home. With the exception of clients occasionally coming to his home to sign contracts or bring things to him, he otherwise has a service area where he visits customers at their location.

    So, am I correct that he should hide his address on his Google Places for Business listing?

    Should all of his citations use the address that he is hiding from Google?

    Are you also saying that he should not set up a Google+ Business Page? Now, with Google Places for Business (which is the listing he has claimed), the client wants to set up the social features that a Google+ Business page offers.

    Thanks in advance for helping sort this out.

  2. @Kathleen

    So, am I correct that he should hide his address on his Google Places for Business listing?

    Google requires that SAB businesses that do not have staffed, customer facing reception should hide their address so that searchers don’t drive there by mistake. So yes, a home based cleaning business should hide his address at Google

    Should all of his citations use the address that he is hiding from Google?

    Yes, he should show his address at citation sources. Otherwise Google doesn’t know about his business. Strange, I know but that’s Google.

    Are you also saying that he should not set up a Google+ Business Page?

    Correct. If he has not set one up yet he should wait. This advice to hide address was for SABs that went ahead and set up a G+ Page against Google’s advice.

    Now, with Google Places for Business (which is the listing he has claimed), the client wants to set up the social features that a Google+ Business page offers.

    Google is upgrading the Places for Business Dashboard (see previous posts). They are gradually upgrading everyone’s dashboard within the next 60 days and when they do that he will have Offers etc. He should wait for the upgrade. Once he has the new dashboard everything, including adding social, videos etc will be easier.

  3. Hi Mike,

    I hope you can help me out.

    1)

    SABs with hidden address should not create new local pages in Google+

    What I knew was that businessowners that want to interact more with there customers can upgrade there Google Places to a local Google+ page. These pages share the functionality of the other categories you can choose for with Google+ pages, but are unique because they show a map, phonenumber etc. Do I understand it correctly that if you are a SAB Google wan’t us not to create a local Google+ page? Do they want us to ‘wait’ or do we have to choose for a normal business Google+ page?

    2)

    What to do with a massage therapist, who only receives customers at his home. He has to choose for ‘No, all customers come to the business location’, because that’s true, his home-address is his business location. But he doesn’t have a:

    customer facing reception should hide their address so that searchers don’t drive there by mistake

    He only works on appointment.

    I hope you can clearify it for me, tried in on other places also but the only thing that brought me: more confusion :-(. I also don’t find any good resources about from Google itself.

    Kind regards,

    Willem

  4. @Willem

    SABs can now have a G+ Page BUT they probably are better off sticking with a basic listing via the old or new dashboard as G+ is pretty flakey with SABs. As a side note the page managed by the old dashboard and the new dashboard is a G+ Page just without the social and video features.

    Your situation is an edge case and while he should note that all customers come to his business he should also note (perhaps in the description) that it is by appointment only.

  5. @Mike,

    I understand now even more that the Google Places page managed by the old or new dashboard is a Goolge+ place. That’s why Google is talking about ‘upgrading’ it to a local Google+ place with features you can interact more with your customers.

    However, you tell me that it’s better to stick with a basic listing, but as you understand there are SAB that want to interact with there clients, is your advice to make a normal (read: extra) Google+ page for this instead of upgrading the Places listing with these social features?

    About the massage therapist: I think we (you and me) are not on the right track how to handle this:

    Please read: https://support.google.com/business/answer/3038163?p=service_area&rd=1

    Some quotes:

    You additionally have the option to indicate I serve customers at my business address. Selecting this option will cause your complete address to display on Google. You should only select this option if you are available to receive business customers at your location during your stated hours. Appointment-only availability at your location is not sufficient to select this option.

    If you previously used the old Places dashboard, you’ll notice that we no longer have the Do not show my business address on my Maps listing option. We will apply the correct address settings for your business based on your choices from the new dashboard and the nature of your business.

    Conclusion: this massage therapist has to choose for a ‘service area’ because it has to hide his address. The only way to do this is by choosing that he serves customers at the customers place, which is not true either.

    I’m curious what you think about these findings. I got them finally from the Google forums.

    Kind regards,

    Willem

  6. @Willem

    One of the reasons that I am suggesting sticking with the current Dashboard and waiting is that an upgrade to social via the new dashboard is much less buggy and problematic than the current merge process. If you claim a local social profile now you run the risk of duplicates and errors particularly on an SAB. So I am still counseling (based on feedback from Google themselves) that you should wait.

    As to hiding an address or not, it works pretty much same the way, its just that the verbiage is different.

    A massage therapist that works only by appointment is an unusual edge case and I agree that Google’s instructions make it seem cut and dry. Let me follow up and see what the the deal is.

  7. @Willem

    I have spoken with Treebles and Google. While Google understands that their system does not handle this situation in a way that you would like. Apparently this is by design.

  8. @Mike

    Thanks for your efforts. The quotes above in this posts also came from Treebles. Google Places, it isn’t so easy ;-).

    Kind regards,

    Willem

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