Will Service Areas Affect Rankings for Local SEO in 2023? – White spark
I recently made a video presenting some new evidence that service areas could impact local search engine optimization rankings. After further research, however, I found that I was wrong.
In this new video, I update that case study and discuss a surprising discovery related to the address your business was verified at. Just look.
Hi everyone, I recently posted a video where I talked about how service areas seem to affect rankings. This was the very first evidence I’ve ever seen that changes to your service areas would affect your ranking.
Summary of my last video about rest stops
I would like to recap this situation here just for you. It started when Jimmy tweeted me about this situation where he ranked pretty well with hidden address in the service areas he wanted to rank for; but as soon as he showed the address in his listing, his rankings dropped drastically.
I found that pretty amazing. I thought, “Wow, service areas are potentially impacting rankings.”
The discussion in the Local Search forum
It’s actually pretty funny because at the same time that I published this, Joy had also published a blog post about how service areas don’t affect rankings. So people started talking about it on the Local Search Forum. Luke Durand said, “Hey, Darren says service areas seem to affect rankings, but Joy says they don’t; What is the problem?”
Well, I actually think I got that wrong. I think Justin is on the right track here. He says it really seems to have to do with showing or hiding the address, not necessarily the service areas. So he’s asking, “Will adding more service areas increase rankings in those areas?”
What if we removed the service areas entirely?
I really liked this concept, but decided to take a slightly different approach since he had already identified service areas in his listing. I thought, “Well, what if we just removed those service areas entirely, and then we’ll see how that might affect his ranking.”
In the past, its field of application was much larger. He had this entire outline selected here, but he removed those service areas from his listing and his service area is now set to just Saratoga Springs. He did so on December 20th and as you can see removing the service areas from his listing while still keeping his address hidden had absolutely no impact on his rankings.
What happens if you hide your address?
But wait a minute because something really interesting has come to light in this case. It turns out that this entry was originally verified at a completely different address. The red star shows where the Google Business Profile was originally verified and the blue star shows where it is currently located.
When they show their address on their listing, if they hide their address, Google is saying, “OK, you’re located here and you can rank within this area.” Now Google doesn’t have an address associated with the listing, so the only address that can be used is the address the listing was originally verified at.
Okay, I hope this clears up the mystery of the service areas. I think what we learned, what we kind of already knew, is that if you hide your address on your Google listing, the only address Google can use to rank your business is the address where the business was originally verified.
Good, see you next time.