Ranking in local search ultimately comes down to three key areas: prominence, relevance and proximity. These factors tend to affect all local businesses in relatively the same way. But for businesses who deliver their services directly to their customers, like plumbers, house painters and exterminators, local search can be a very different game.
These “service area businesses” may or may not have a physical business address from which they can receive customers and those who don’t have struggled to define what Google calls a “service area” accurately.
They were initially asked to define their address and then state the radius around it in which they can do their work. However, a recent change in Google My Business now allows service area businesses to hide their addresses and instead submit the exact regions, cities or ZIP codes they can operate in.