The question as to whether you should hide your address on Google My Business (GMB) if you work from home gets asked a lot and there seems to be some confusion.  There is concern about having a home address listed on a Google My Business listing. Privacy and security concerns are real and should be taken seriously.  If this is the case, you might be wondering if you should hide your address on Google My Business.

A Google My Business listing is crucial if you run a business and want to attract clients through local search. There are many benefits of having a GMB listing and cannot be understated. The majority of clicks go to businesses in the map pack so it stands to reason that you’d want to do everything possible to get there.

I hear from a lot of freelancers and service-based business owners that while they have a GMB listing, they don’t update it because they don’t want their listing to be found because their home address is displayed.  But, having a GMB listing without keeping it updated with recent reviews, means you are losing out on potential business, especially in your local area.

What are the rules?

According to Google’s rules, if you display your address, it must be a commercial building or otherwise have signs denoting that it is your place of business. It is against the rules to show your address if it is your home address, even if you occasionally meet customers there. Residential addresses can get suspended and removed by Google.

So, should you hide your address on Google My Business?

If your business address is residential, you must hide it. If you really do business out of your home, you should have a separate entrance and signage clearly showing your business name.   If Google suspends your listing for using a residential address you’ll have to show proof of signage to get the suspension lifted.  Getting your listing suspended is a headache and getting Google to lift the suspension is a hassle no one needs.

Bottom line, if you serve customers at your address, then you should display your address so customers can find you. But if you serve customers at their location, then you should remove your address. So, hide your address if you work from home and if your customers don’t visit you there.

Read more: 4 Reasons Why Business Owners Are Afraid of SEO

Will removing the address affect your ability to rank in the map pack?

This is a question that gets asked a lot.

When you initially set up your listing, you had to verify your location. You might have received a postcard with a code in the post and that code verified your listing. This means Google knows where you are.

For example, when someone searches for “copywriter” or even “copywriter near me”, Google knows where you are. Google also knows where the searcher is located.

So while your address is not displayed to the public, Google will still display your listing. Businesses with and without an address can rank in Google Maps.

How well your listing ranks is another matter.  Making sure your business listing is updated with relevant and accurate information and recent reviews will help to get your business displayed in the map pack.

Read: 9 Way To Optimise Your GMB Listing

How to remove your address from your GMB listing?

This part is super simple.  You’ll need to log into your GMB listing for this.  If you haven’t got the page bookmarked, you can do a search for “Google my business”.

  1. Log into your GMB account
  2. Click on Info on the left hand
  3. Click on the pencil icon next to the address field
  4. Click “Clear Address”

address section in Google My Business listing

If you need help managing your Google My Business listing or getting your listing ranking well, Savvy SEO can help. Give Sonia a call at 07566 230636.