Do you provide a service to customer at your business, away from your business, or a combination of both? For businesses that use a go-to-client business model, you may wake up one day to find your business’s listing has disappeared from Google’s local search results. That will hurt your business and how much will rely on the amount of business you generally receive through local search. For some businesses, they could find they suddenly have no clients.
Google’s instructions for businesses when filling in their details included the following:
Don’t receive customers at your location? Serve customers at their location? Select the “Do not show my business address on my Maps listing” option within your dashboard — if you don’t hide your address, your listing may be removed from Google Maps.
The problem is, most businesses have ignored this instruction, mainly because it was not made obvious when a business entered its data. An added problem is the set-and-forget mentality that most business owners take (most web users actually). Have you claimed your business through Google Places and filled in all of your business details? Have you been back to check its accuracy, or to update information such as address, telephone, or website details? Most people don’t.
Google is now checking businesses and those that predominantly serve customers away from their premises, and who haven’t hidden their addresses, are dropping off the search results. If you do use a go-to-client business model, and you have a Google Places listing, it only takes a couple of minutes to check your data, and to check the ‘Do not show my business address on my Maps listing’. It could be better than losing access to a channel that delivers a lot of customers. Of course, if you don’t receive any customers through Google local search, you don’t really need to do anything. Mirriam Ellis has more on this issue at SEOMOZ.