In a recent small-scale study conducted by Joy Hawkins, the implications of removing the address from Google Business Profile listings were examined. Surprisingly, the study contradicted Google’s own advice and guidelines, highlighting a significant drop in local pack and Google Maps rankings. This article explores the study’s findings and the potential consequences for businesses that choose to omit their address from their Google Business Profile.
The Impact of Address Removal on Rankings:
Joy Hawkins decided to put Google’s advice to the test by removing the address from one of her clients’ Google Business Profiles. The results were striking – the client’s rankings plummeted, nearly disappearing altogether. Sensing a potential correlation, Joy promptly reinstated the address, and to her relief, the rankings returned. A chart illustrating the rankings before and after the address removal and re-addition further emphasized the impact.
Replicating the Results:
To validate the findings, Joy Hawkins repeated the experiment with another client. The results were consistent, as the removal of the address once again led to a sharp decline in rankings, and restoring the address resulted in a recovery. These replicated outcomes strengthened the study’s credibility and underscored the importance of retaining the address in Google Business Profiles.
Address Removal and Customer Perception:
The study highlighted that removing the address or setting it to not show to customers had the same effect. Joy Hawkins clarified that even though the address remains editable in the Business Profile listing, any modification that removes the address is likely to trigger a significant drop in leads from Google Search and Google Maps. This has important implications for businesses, as potential customers heavily rely on these platforms for local business discovery.
Joy Hawkins’ study serves as a cautionary tale for businesses considering removing their address from Google Business Profiles. Despite Google’s advice to leave the “business location” field blank if the business doesn’t serve customers at its address, the study clearly demonstrated that doing so can lead to a substantial decline in local rankings and subsequently impact leads generated from Google Search and Google Maps.
Therefore, it is advisable for businesses to carefully consider the potential consequences before making any changes to their address information in their Google Business Profile listings.