Google have started rolling out changes to Google Maps that will help to improve listings for home and service based businesses. ‘Service Areas’ are a new addition to Google’s local business listings that can be used to show the areas a business serves, rather than the actual address of the business.
The inability for service or home based businesses to display this information has long been one of the biggest problems for Google Maps. Home based businesses who did not want to display their home address have been known to use a fake address to get around the problem. Likewise, businesses such as real estate agents who serve multiple areas have found it tough to get coverage in other areas they service outside their office location.
Google’s “Service Areas and Location Settings” is a new feature in Google maps that helps to resolve some of these issues. Here’s a screenshot of how this looks when editing a listing:
As you can see from the screenshots above, businesses now have a couple of additional options such as:
- The ability to hide your physical business address
- Showing a service area based around your office location
- Showing a list of surrounding areas which you serve
According to a Google spokesperson, this is a limited test at this stage, so please check your local listing to see if it’s available for you.