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Using PO Box as business address in GMB?

     
3:52 am on Jul 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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My sister's business doesn't have (or need) a physical location. But needs one for ranking in the area in which she works.

She used a PO box (a tip from another business owner) but Google suspended her. They called and asked if it was a location that customers can visit. She told the truth and said no, though she didn't say it was a PO box either.

Now she's filling out a reinstatement form, and is wondering this...

If she claims that customers can go to her PO box, and Google finds out they can't, what will the consequences be. Will they ban her by company name so that she can't create a new GMB if she actually gets a physical location?

We understand Spam regulation is needed, but for her business an address isn't needed.
4:18 am on July 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Physical locations are important for some things ... PO Boxes are not the best answer in those situations ... If she can't give a street address to comply with g's requirements, best not to go there. Any untruths will result in a permanent ban, so be very careful how to proceed.

MEANWHILE, keep it simple. G called and asked. She replied. If nothing has changed ...

Do the web without the "physical location rank". You/she are selling product, right? You/she is not relying on g adverts for income?. If the latter, there might be trouble.

Pretty sure you knew the answer before asking. :)

PO BOX biz is getting deprecated EVERYWHERE, so this is nothing new.
4:35 am on July 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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From G:

[support.google.com...]
12:14 am on July 12, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Hi Tangor,

Thanks!

She's offering a service in a specific location. So she needs to be optimized for a physical location in order to rank locally. (The queries related to her service serve local results).

The organic rankings are dominated by large directory and review type sites. So It'll probably be easier to rank in the local 3-pack with GMB.

I'll let her know about the permanent ban risk. That's really what we wanted to know before moving forward with anything that goes against Google's policies.
2:31 am on July 12, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Check into the services that provide physical addresses (for any number of companies) and has a person to answer the phone, pass on mail (snail), etc. Nearly all major cities have companies that provide such services. More expensive then a PO Box, but is compliant in all other respects as regards g... or a customer.
4:48 pm on July 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Don't many of the private P.O. Box shops (in the U.S.) also provide
Buis Name
Street Address, Suite X
City, State, Zip
"locations"?
4:27 pm on Sept 29, 2019 (gmt 0)

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A PO Box isn't permitted as per guidelines - [support.google.com...]

It sounds like she's a service area business in which case she could use a home address and set a service area without getting in any trouble. No need for signage either with SAB