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I'm a web developer who occasionally helps friends create website and improve their SEO. I have one friend who is starting an online woodworking business, but they have no storefront. They only want to sell their merchandise online and not disclose their home address to the world.

I'm trying to create backlinks for them. I've tried to add their business to some sites like Google Maps, but the street address is required. Is there any way to get around this?

  • Maps are confusing. One tricky thing about a map is that it requires a location. A location is also sometimes called a place. If you don't want to share your location you probably shouldn't be trying to submit it to a map.... More about maps, how to use them, and some history can be found here: en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Map – dhaupin Jul 6 '15 at 16:04
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Adding the company to Google Business

You can add the business to Google Business which provides the data to Google Plus, Google Search and Google Maps. You will need to provide the actual address for verification purposes and you can disable the address being shown by clicking the checkbox I deliver goods and services to my customers at their location and this will hide the address. Google also does not allow PO boxes or any other type of forwarding address.

Real businesses do not hide their address

You should try and convince your customer that it is in their own interest that they display the address. No one wants to deal with a company that has no VISIBLE trading address, no return address, no complaint address or hiding behind a PO box. Its shady and less reputable to both Google and customers.

Not convinced.........?

  • Businesses without a visible trading address will not benefit from citations or backlinks on various reputable sites i.e Yelp, HotFrog, Yell etc.
  • Customers will not be able to leave reviews on citation sites that can directly and indirectly improve search rankings.
  • Customers will not be able to find their business on Google Maps, obviously because they don't have a location to display.

Organic Rankings

You only options are to increase the organic search ranking which means good content and real backlinks. You wrote I'm trying to create backlinks for them. , you should be aware that Google has laid the smackdown on user generated links and Google has had the ability to detect such links for awhile now. Creating links that are not natural will hurt your customers rankings in due time.

  • Thanks. I'll try to work on this. I'm not trying to create fake backlinks--just trying to add them to standard listing sites. – John Pasquet Jul 7 '15 at 20:18

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