bobptz
bobptz asked
Member (-1 upvotes)

Virtual address bad for SEO?

I am reading that a Virtual address is, forbidden for Google My Business (GMB) and that Google penalizes them:


https://www.envigo.co.uk/blog/seo/virtual-offices-optimisation-local-seo-and-gmb


I do not care about Google My Business (GMB), I am not listed there.  My clients are everywhere in the world.  However I started to worry about virtual address and phone.  I want to use them as TRUST signals, but now I am afraid I will be penalized by google.


Your expert opinion please?


Avatar for member Chedders
Chedders
Moderator (224 upvotes)

Google my business is meant for bricks and mortar type businesses. This works really well for finding a trade that is near to you. It does, however, have flaws, such as it does not cater well for service areas.

If you do however have branches in other areas you can list these and you could try and kid the system by purchasing a virtual address, however, what happens if a person turns up looking for your company? I would guess they could then leave you negative feedback which in turn will damage your main money site. 

Personally I would only list the address you own, if your a virtual company then google my business is not the product for you.

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Avatar for member Nizam18
Nizam18
Member (-3 upvotes)

abusing the system can end up “hurting your main listing”.

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Avatar for member KnowOneSpecial
KnowOneSpecial
Moderator (60 upvotes)

You would be better off if you did some translation of pages to primary target areas.

Translate your content into the most profitable languages.  Then use sub-folders to target your audiences.  You can then target the individual country sub-folders with highly targeted local pages for those languages. 

One of the advantages of this method is that you only create a single website in your primary language.  Then the translated pages populate the sub-folders and Google treats the translations as "Unique Content".

Now I am sure your primary office has a brick and mortar address. If so then create a GMB for that address and do not try and create any listings for virtual address. That will just end up getting your whole account banned. 

If you do not have a real "Brick and Mortar address" do not use a GMB.

Understand by combining the use of international / local seo optimization you will accomplish your goals.

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Avatar for member bobptz
bobptz
Member (-1 upvotes)

Hi guys.

I said in my initial post: "I do not care about Google My Business (GMB), I am not listed there."  I am just using the phone/address as trust signals for my international website.

Thank you very much for your suggestions though.  Many times I thought of translating the pages.  I find it hard to maintain, as I do not know other languages, somebody else would have to do it.  Only one competitor attempted to do it for some time.  They have removed the non-english pages years ago.

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Avatar for member Nizam18
Nizam18
Member (-3 upvotes)
Search Engine Roundtable have reported that SEO practitioners who use virtual offices as part of their local SEO strategy are being caught more frequently. Most importantly, they noted that abusing the system can end up “hurting your main listing”.
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