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Google’s John Mueller Asks Why SEOs Don’t Publish Their Address

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Mueller questions why SEOs do not publish addresses on their about page. The SEO community responded with numerous reasons, ranging from it’s a negative ranking effect to they don’t service Local SEO.

Why No Address in SEO Business Sites?

John Mueller said that he was browsing through different SEO sites and noticed that many SEO businesses did not list a physical address. So he turned to Twitter and asked the community why this was so prevalent.

“Why do so many SEO / digital marketing agencies not have their address at all on their websites? Not even on the “About us” or their policies/tos pages… ? Is having a postal address too old-school?”

Screenshot of a tweet by John Mueller who works as a Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google

Reasons Why Not to List Address

Bill Hartzer tweeted a good reason for not listing an address in an about page. He recounted that at one time he listed his address and also created a Google My Business page. He subsequently experienced a 38% drop in traffic.

Screenshot of a tweet by Bill Hartzer, explaining why making a national site appear local is not a good idea.

Google associated his global SEO business with a small geographic area. His site dropped off for his keywords except in the small geographic area in which he lived.

Another member of the SEO community said that publishing an address and making that prominent might cause the perception that the address represents your service area. A limited service area might discourage clients that were outside of that location.

John Mueller responded:

“And at the same time, you’re missing out on local clients, people in your own timezone … I don’t mind not having it on the homepage, but a rough location *somewhere* on the site seems reasonable?”

Screenshot of a tweet by Google's John Mueller asking if SEOs are leaving behind local SEO clients by not listing their address

Local SEO and SEO Are Different

John’s response is reasonable but it overlooks the fact that local SEO clients require a different service from sites that are not local based.

The needs of a local based business that primarily sells locally are dramatically different from a business that sells online to a national or global audience.

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Speaking for Myself

Speaking for myself, although I do take some local SEO clients, my focus for the past 20  yeas has been on businesses with more complicated issues like figuring out how to rank better or recovering from an algorithm update. So, adding an address to appeal to potential local clients has never been a consideration.

Geographic Bias

Scott Clark tweeted that, living in Kentucky, he feared that geographic bias might cause unwanted stereotyping:

“We used to hide the fact we’re in KY because of stereotypes that persist even now. Once our avg client ARR passed $50M we stopped worrying. We need to make a living, John, and geo-bias is a real thing.”

John Mueller responded to the many comments by graciously thanking the SEO community for their feedback.

Mueller also tweeted that his question should not be interpreted as having to do with anything search or algorithm related:

“I just want to clarify: this is not related to any search change on our side. It’s purely me having browsed a bunch of legitimate SEO business sites and wondering where folks are based.”

Until Mueller brought this up, I confess to not having given the issue of an address much thought.

So today I updated my about page and added that I am originally from San Francisco but that I currently reside in Western Massachusetts.

How about you? Do you think it’s a good idea to list your address?

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NEWS

Google December Product Reviews Update Affects More Than English Language Sites? via @sejournal, @martinibuster

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Google’s Product Reviews update was announced to be rolling out to the English language. No mention was made as to if or when it would roll out to other languages. Mueller answered a question as to whether it is rolling out to other languages.

Google December 2021 Product Reviews Update

On December 1, 2021, Google announced on Twitter that a Product Review update would be rolling out that would focus on English language web pages.

The focus of the update was for improving the quality of reviews shown in Google search, specifically targeting review sites.

A Googler tweeted a description of the kinds of sites that would be targeted for demotion in the search rankings:

“Mainly relevant to sites that post articles reviewing products.

Think of sites like “best TVs under $200″.com.

Goal is to improve the quality and usefulness of reviews we show users.”

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Google also published a blog post with more guidance on the product review update that introduced two new best practices that Google’s algorithm would be looking for.

The first best practice was a requirement of evidence that a product was actually handled and reviewed.

The second best practice was to provide links to more than one place that a user could purchase the product.

The Twitter announcement stated that it was rolling out to English language websites. The blog post did not mention what languages it was rolling out to nor did the blog post specify that the product review update was limited to the English language.

Google’s Mueller Thinking About Product Reviews Update

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Product Review Update Targets More Languages?

The person asking the question was rightly under the impression that the product review update only affected English language search results.

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But he asserted that he was seeing search volatility in the German language that appears to be related to Google’s December 2021 Product Review Update.

This is his question:

“I was seeing some movements in German search as well.

So I was wondering if there could also be an effect on websites in other languages by this product reviews update… because we had lots of movement and volatility in the last weeks.

…My question is, is it possible that the product reviews update affects other sites as well?”

John Mueller answered:

“I don’t know… like other languages?

My assumption was this was global and and across all languages.

But I don’t know what we announced in the blog post specifically.

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But usually we try to push the engineering team to make a decision on that so that we can document it properly in the blog post.

I don’t know if that happened with the product reviews update. I don’t recall the complete blog post.

But it’s… from my point of view it seems like something that we could be doing in multiple languages and wouldn’t be tied to English.

And even if it were English initially, it feels like something that is relevant across the board, and we should try to find ways to roll that out to other languages over time as well.

So I’m not particularly surprised that you see changes in Germany.

But I also don’t know what we actually announced with regards to the locations and languages that are involved.”

Does Product Reviews Update Affect More Languages?

While the tweeted announcement specified that the product reviews update was limited to the English language the official blog post did not mention any such limitations.

Google’s John Mueller offered his opinion that the product reviews update is something that Google could do in multiple languages.

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One must wonder if the tweet was meant to communicate that the update was rolling out first in English and subsequently to other languages.

It’s unclear if the product reviews update was rolled out globally to more languages. Hopefully Google will clarify this soon.

Citations

Google Blog Post About Product Reviews Update

Product reviews update and your site

Google’s New Product Reviews Guidelines

Write high quality product reviews

John Mueller Discusses If Product Reviews Update Is Global

Watch Mueller answer the question at the 14:00 Minute Mark

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Searchenginejournal.com

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