Google Places and Service Areas
Posted on April 20th, 2010
Google has finally added options for business owners to set their service areas, as reported a couple weeks ago by Matt McGee. Today it officially rolls out, again, along with a re-branding of the Local Business Center, now simply called Google Places.
The service area is great for those businesses that work from a home address they would rather not display, or businesses that serve multiple areas from one physical location, which is very common in larger metro areas (think plumbers, landscapers, remodeling contractors, interior decorators, etc..). Up till now many of those businesses targeting multiple cities had to resort to obtaining unique addresses and phone numbers in those other cities, often through UPS box addresses, a practice Google now frowns upon.
The question is, how are rankings influenced by these new service area settings? Will a business located in “City A”, yet services the adjacent “City B” to the north, be able to rank for City B search queries when all its citation sources mention City A? It’s too early to tell and for some of my clients that this is well suited too I’m a
little hesitant incredibly hesitant to make any changes as they already rank well. Perhaps the next fresh client becomes the guinea pig.