po box address on website for seo?

Discussion in 'Digital Marketing' started by Dave does lawns, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. Dave does lawns

    Dave does lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 257

    I am sure I am not the only one who operates from home.

    I also am led to believe that having an address on your website validates your location and ultimately will help in the subject of seo.

    Question is would having a PO Box as an address on the website carry a comparable seo weight as appose to listing your actual address?

    Po Box #1234
    123 main street

    Could look like:

    #1234 123 main street. camouflaging the fact it is a Po Box while being a valid local address.
  2. grandview (2006)

    grandview (2006) LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,465

    Got mine listed as a po box. If your a registered company and someone Google you. It will come up to the address you use on your official papers you signed.
  3. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,852

    The business address serves two different purporses, depending on the goal:

    1.) It's a corroborating piece of data, via the Name/Address/Phone, aka NAP. This is used by search to cross-reference your citations and your web site. The more that corroborates, the more you might be deemed legitimately relevant to the search results. If you have inconsistent addressing, some data sources may be dropped from your ranking profile.

    2.) It is the key validator for Google+ Local/Places. A PO Box is outside of Google's "Quality Guidelines" and will not get your account approved. If you go the street address route, such as using the post office's street name, or a UPS Store address, and calling the PO Box a "suite #", you might camouflage it enough to get through, but at some point, you will get caught. When you get caught, there is some serious digging out of the hole they will put you in. (I'm currently cleaning this up for someone. It is NOT an overnight process.)

    If you think you'e going to get away with it, do this simple test to understand what Google already knows, even if their algo currently isn't catching it:

    - Go to Google
    - Type in your "camouflage" address
    - What results do you see?

    You're going to see either the outright name of the Post Office Branch/UPS Store/Mailbox Store, which would be the overwhelming favorite to rank for that address. Go deeper in to the results, and you'll start seeing the businesses using that as their storefront or office address.
  4. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,852

    As a clarification and addendum, for a Places page, you do have the option to hide your business address if you're not an actual place of business and set yourself as a "Service Area Business" (SAB). Google+ Local does not yet allow SAB's with a hidden address.

    More info? Blumenthal's Blog is a great place to watch the trainwreck and mismanagement that is Google Places/Plus/Loca/Whatever It Will Be Called Whenever They Fix It
  5. Ben Bowen

    Ben Bowen LawnSite Bronze Member
    from PNW
    Messages: 1,166

    Just to add a few thoughts:

    Google+Local does not technically support a "service area business" at all. Places does. I am sure this will change soon.

    For local SEO a physical address is preferred. Using a PO Box can certainly be overcome though. Whatever you decide to do, just keep it consistent. If you don't the search engines may end up splitting your data- as if you are multiple companies. Pick your NAP and then make sure it is correct everywhere it could possibly be listed.
    Posted via Mobile Device

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