There is a lot of wrong information out in the SEO world coming from companies attempting to sell their services. These companies simply tell people what they want to hear.

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These companies claim they can rank a company high in multiple areas on Google. This was true at one time, but Google is cracking down on companies monopolizing multiple cities. If a company claims it can get clients ranked in multiple areas, ask for proof.

Search the company it claims has ranked in multiple areas to see how legitimate they are.

Google Maps

Google wants a company to rank in its Maps section only if it has all SEO on track and a physical address in that city.

There are exceptions in areas that are smaller and have less competition. Cities in states like California and Florida are some of the most difficult because there is more competition from other businesses attempting to rank.

Facts coming from a Google representative:

  • No more multiple residential locations: Google is cracking down on this and, while in some areas it still works, eventually it will not. Google is actually doing manual reviews and looking at the street view on Google Maps to verify the existence and legitimacy of companies.
  • Yes, you can have commercial addresses with different locations: If you are going to do this you will have to be honest and have an actual location with signage. Google is manually reviewing these and wants photographs of that location.
  • You cannot combined residential with commercial addresses: You can either have one residential address or one or more commercial addresses.
  • Moving: If you want to change addresses, note that Google now manually reviews this, looking at the street view and expecting photographs sent which show signage and proof of the new business location.

We have had two clients in the last month change locations, and we attempted to only do the verification card. The card never came.

After speaking with a Google rep, we learned the reviewer couldn’t view the business location on the street view and needed photographs of signage and the warehouses to show the business. Once we emailed that over, everything was verified the same day.

Google basically wants you to perform SEO only in the city of your physical address. If you want to rank in cities surrounding that, it wants you to do pay-per-click. It’s a step towards Google making more money.

I know this is nothing any business wants to hear. I know some companies are still getting away with it because they’re companies that have been around forever, and this makes it harder for newer companies to come along and outrank them.

If you are going to do SEO, be realistic and accept you are going to get the majority of work in the area you are physically located. If you’re wanting to rank in multiple areas, you need to rent a commercial building location and take a picture of that location to prove its existence to Google.

Google wants people to be honest and real. It is exhausted dealing with black hat SEO and companies trying to cheat the system.

Google business pages are always evolving; it just revamped Google My Business with a new look. It has a new, special section for commercial business pages as well. Google is focused on having more manual reviews done to ensure it is ranking the best of the best.

This doesn’t mean you can’t rank, but just like Mother always said, “Honesty is the best policy.”


Joe Burnich and Mariane Maynard operate the web design and SEO firm Big West Marketing Inc. They help cleaning and restoration companies thrive on the web so they can focus on their businesses (not the computer screen). Give them a call at (406)493-1881 for a free 30 minute consultation or check out their site www.CarpetCleaningWebsites.net.