After my column about Home Service Ads came out last week, I got a message from Google with some great news. They told me two things: Google plans to add pure service-area businesses (SABs) back into the local results — this includes home-based businesses. The disappearance of results for home-based businesses in markets without Home Service Ads was due to a bug (not intentional), which Google says should be resolved soon. So, almost a year after deciding to remove service-area businesses from the local results, I’m starting to see that Google is adding them back. Here is an example of a search result I spotted this morning. A few days ago, it looked like this (Notice how every listing has a directions icon — meaning the address is showing on the listing): Although owners of service-area businesses will be extremely excited about this change, service-area businesses aren’t the only listings returning to the local results. One of the good things about Google’s decision to take SABs out of the results was that it eliminated the majority of spammy listings (but definitely not all of them). Looking at this one example, one of the listings that just returned to the local…
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