Updated June 23, 2022
You can have a Google Business Profile listing if you have a physical location like a storefront, but you can also have a listing if you provide services to local customers at their location. For example, a painter may not have an office, but will go to the customer’s location to provide the service. A painter in Philadelphia may only serve customers within a few miles or a wider local area, but is not likely to provide painting services in Arizona, for example. Previously, Google asked you to specify a radius from your address (which you did not have to show on the listing) in order to determine your service area.
Google no longer supports a radius from your business and changed this for new listings to instead specify your service area by city, postal code, or other area(s). Existing listings are now being changed to this new format.
Did Google change your service area?
Google has been sending out email notifications to existing service area business that your listing has been updated to the new format. You may have received an email like the one shown below.
If you got a notification like this from Google, you should login to your Google Business Profile account and review the service areas that have been assigned to you to make sure they are accurate.
What Service Area(s) should you choose?
One of the reasons Google made this change is that many service businesses exaggerated their radius to include areas they don’t actually serve. Search results also seemed to rely on proximity to your home or other hidden addresses, even if you actually did most of your business the next town over.
The service areas you select will largely depend on the type of business that you have and the geographic specifics of your area. For some businesses, choosing the large city like Philadelphia rather than your smaller suburb name may make more sense. For others, choosing specific local town names will work better. As it always comes back to, think about your prospective customer and the terms they are likes to use when they search for information relating to the service you provide.