Hiding Your Business Address Is A Guaranteed Way To Lose Ranking

Posted on March 24th, by Mike Ramsey in Local Search. 8 comments

I have been playing around with the “service area” option in the Google Local Business Center today and found something interesting. I decided I would test with my own listing because…

  • -I live in Burley, Idaho and it’s a small enough town that I’m not too concerned about ranking.
  • -Google Local hates internet marketers and web designers anyways and we don’t get a search box unless you type insanely long tail phrase.

This makes my listing the perfect guinea pig for potential dangerous tests. Anyways, I had heard through @davidkyle that rankings were dropping when he enabled the “service area” option and I decided I would start to test things out this afternoon. Here is what I have seen…

I was able to target a 200 mile radius area, and while keeping my address displayed I didn’t see any changes in rankings in my local market. I also didn’t notice a change in nearby towns though my service area had been widened.

This above shot was taken after my listing was showing a 200 mile radius. As you can see, I am ranking exactly where I should be… ๐Ÿ˜‰

But, upon changing the option to not show my address…

All of a sudden a map no longer appeared on the search term (luckily I shop organic products) …

And I dropped 7 places in Google map rankings…

I tested this with multiple keywords and found the same results. Upon allowing my address to be seen again, I quickly moved back into my top spot. For now, I wouldn’t be hiding your address just yet. Unless you are above me in a phrase I am trying to rank for, then definitely hide your address.


I am the President of Nifty Marketing. I search, I learn, I speak, I write.

8 responses to “Hiding Your Business Address Is A Guaranteed Way To Lose Ranking”

  1. David Wolf says:

    Hey Mike,

    This is some great stuff. We inputting some new clients and just noticed this feature. Have you done any testing on how the size of your radius effects search results? Also, we were wondering whether you are better to use the radius feature or choose town by town to build it out (more keywords) This can be easily done by using a radius keyword feature like that on 5minutesite (link below)


    Let me know. Thanks for the great work. Also, would love you to do a guest post if you have time.

  2. […] Hiding Your Business Address Is A Guaranteed Way To Lose Ranking, Nifty Marketing […]

  3. Nifty Mike says:

    @david – I am running tests on everything you have mentioned but don’t know how long it will take to come to conclusions on anything (or if I will). If I come up with anything more I will be sure to let you know. As far as a guest post goes, if you have a subject you are wanting something on let me know. I have a pretty full schedule ahead for this site and I run a hyper local weekly news journal so I do have to limit the amount of writing time but I am always up for talking local. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. […] McGee and Mike Ramsey both advise not to use the tool yet to try to improve rankings, and Mike believes that hiding your […]

  5. […] the option to not show their address on Google Maps. This is one advantageous way for everyone but rumor has it, once you agree and choose not to show your address could really remove you from showing at […]

  6. […] Recently, places pages came out with the ability to show service locations, and also hide your address for home based businesses or businesses where customers donโ€™t come to your shop.ย  I do think this will be a good feature in the future, but at launch time I ran some tests that resulted in an immediate drop in local rankings. […]

  7. Alyssa says:

    Thanks for the tips, I totally agree with you

  8. Derek Orme says:

    Nifty Mike, thanks for the nice case study. Since I own a small business that puts on races at different locations I had decided to not put my full address on, now I think I’ll be changing that decision.

    I know that P.O. Boxes are a no-no, but have you seen Google downgrade the rankings of companies that use real addresses from a UPS mailbox?