Google My Business Mails Verification Postcard to the Wrong Address: What to Do

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Did your Google My Business verification postcard end up in the wrong neighborhood?


Yesterday I did a consultation for a guy whose client – an HVAC contractor – had a problem with duplicate Google pages.

Just two pages – one for each office location.  Each location served mostly different cities, with a little overlap.

Page A was set up fine.  Page B was also fine, except it used the same street address as Page A.  The client didn’t want it that way.  He entered the right address into the dashboard, but when it came time to seal the deal by owner-verifying Page B, Google put the street address of Page A – the other location – on the postcard.

The client was creating Page B for the first time, and didn’t see a way to make Google send the postcard to the correct address, so he went ahead and had it sent anyway, and owner-verified his page.  Soon after that, his local 3-pack rankings dried up, and his SEO/marketing dude booked a consultation with me.

Somehow, Google was messing up the addresses between when the client entered the correct address in the dashboard and when it showed him the preview of where the postcard would be mailed.

If you’ve run into a similar problem, you probably want to know what’s going on.

The problem seems to be overlapping “service area” settings, if you’ve got a service-area businesses with multiple Google My Business pages.

Let’s say you’re a plumber in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  You’ve got a location in Dallas, and your plumbers there travel up to 20 miles for a job.  But your plumbers in Fort Worth also travel up to 20 miles for a job.  So for each Google page you set a service area with a 20-mile radius.  The trouble is now the service areas overlap.

It gets worse if you get greedy.  If you’re like many owners of service-area businesses I’ve spoken with, you probably picked a 70-mile-radius service area, thinking that you’ll rank throughout that huge swath of land.  You will not.  It’s like putting 30 gifts on your Christmas wish-list.  You’ll be lucky if Google Claus gets you 3 of them.

We finally got Google to send the postcard to the correct address once I went into the Google My Business dashboards of both pages, removed all the service-area targeting, and un-hid the address of Page B.

(No, Google doesn’t care about un-hidden addresses anymore, and only did for a year or so.)

Maybe your case is different, and all you’ll have to do is change the service-area radii, for example.  Who knows.  But now you know what to tinker with.

Have you run into this problem – of Google mailing the postcard to the wrong address?  Did my solution do the trick?

Leave a comment!


  1. Interesting issue; thanks for sharing the solution. What do you mean when you say: “(No, Google doesn’t care about un-hidden addresses anymore, and only did for a year or so.)”
    Tha ks
    Andy 🙂

    • What I mean is that – in my experience – Google won’t pinch your page if you’re a service-area business and you hide your address.

  2. We had this happen to us and it was a nightmare of phone call after phone call to Google. Thanks for the information either way.

  3. Phil, this is fascinating and relevant to your recent post about SABs, too. Andy has asked above about hidden addresses. I’d like to add to this … have you not seen within the last couple of years Google automatically hiding the addresses of businesses they deem to be SABs? I believe I have, but can’t say that with 100% certainty. Thoughts?

    • Hey Miriam,

      Yes, I’ve seen Google hide addresses for businesses. Which is one reason I often suggest not hiding your address right out of the gates, or at all: if Google doesn’t like it they’ll simply change it for you, rather than whisk you off the map (as they used to do).

  4. Got it. Just wanted to clarify this was still the case in what you’ve seen, and I now better understand your statement about Google not ‘caring’ about hidden addresses. Thanks!

  5. Thank you so much for this article Phil! This post saved my butt with a local client! Your the man!

  6. Hi Phil, I ran across your article and wanted to clarify as I’m in almost the exact same situation. I’m an HVAC contractor as well with a main location and a My Business page for that location. We also have a secondary location in a different city that is inside the main city and it has a my business page that I didn’t know existed until recently. I set our main My Business page as SAB thinking I would cover both cities, but you are saying I would be better off taking SAB off and keeping a My Business page for each city? Thanks.

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