Legitimate local businesses have a walk-in store front or base of operations. That must be the thinking behind Google, with it having such strict address guidelines. If you want to be seen online, you’ll need to follow the guidelines, or your business might as well be closed to the online community.
Do not create a listing or place your pin marker at a location where the business does not physically exist. P.O. Boxes are not considered accurate physical locations. Your business location should be staffed during its stated hours. – Google Places quality guidelines
Legitimate addresses to Google:
- Brick and mortar walk in stores
- Business parks with suite number
- Warehouse with suite number
- Home address in residential zoning
Illegitimate addresses to Google:
- P.O. boxes
- Suite numbers that say a UPS store
- Shared office spaces – These are under fire
For many service businesses (go-to-client) or mom and pop shops, this becomes a major problem. So as part of your local SEO plan, the answer might be getting a legitimate address in or nearby every big city you want to service. And if you use a place you aren’t going to staff during normal business hours, you’ll want to tick the box ‘hide your address’ when setting up Google Places(G+ local).
Your address is just part of a three critical business identity pieces. It’s helpful to keep this in mind before you change any of these things, your address, phone number or business name.
I also wrote this post on why customers and Google favor closer located businesses in search results.