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Does Moving Your Business Impact Rankings? [2 Case Studies]

When I first started working in the local SEO industry, we feared clients telling us that they were planning on moving their offices.  There was the thought that because of NAP consistency and duplicate listings, moving was a local SEO nightmare.  Fast forward 15 years and I’m actually seeing several scenarios where relocating can actually help increase your rankings.

Case 1: 

We had a business that was in the home services space and was set up as a service area business with Google My Business.  Because he didn’t have a physical office, he used his home address on the listing.  When he ended up moving to a new apartment, we updated the address on his listing.

The next day, we saw increases in his local pack rankings for a lot of the keywords he was targeting.

The new address was only about half a mile away from the old address but it was closer to the center of his zip code (where the ranking report was scanning from) and it was also closer to the center of the city that he was wanting to rank for.

We didn’t update the address on any of his citations for 3 months so the ranking increase we saw right after the move was unrelated to NAP consistency or citations.

The following months after the move we saw steady increases in their lead volume as well.

Case 2: 

This case was a lawyer who worked in a building that had several other attorneys that were targeting the same keywords he was.  This caused his listing to often get filtered and we actually recommended that he move his office.

Within days of updating his address inside Google My Business, we saw ranking increases.  We didn’t update any of his citations until weeks after these changes happened.

Here is an example for one of his main keywords that shows how he ranked the week before compared with the week after.  The pins with the red lines in the middle were cases where he was filtered out by the other law firm that was in the old building.  After he moved, they now rank together.

rankings beforerankings after

Often with listings that are getting filtered, we see Google flip flop back and forth between the 2 listings they find “similar”.  That used to happen a lot with this business but that pattern stopped after the move.


In other cases, we saw that the other law firm was suppressing their ranking but not actually causing them to disappear, and we saw increases for these keywords after the move.

Before deciding to relocate your office, make sure you do a thorough analysis to analyze the possible gains and losses that would happen as a result.  We often love to assess this for clients and help them pick a spot that will be optimal for their business.

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Joy Hawkins

Joy is the owner of the Local Search Forum, LocalU, and Sterling Sky, a Local SEO agency in Canada & the USA. She has been working in the industry since 2006, writes for publications such as Search Engine Land, and enjoys speaking regularly at marketing conferences such as MozCon, LocalU, Pubcon, SearchLove, and State of Search. You can find her on Twitter or volunteering as a Product Expert on the Google My Business Forum.

This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. This article showed up in my inbox just at the right time. Our company has just completed a move only a few blocks away, but in a better location for us. As the Marketing Director, I’ve been struggling with updating citations and GMB and everything else wondering what impact the move will have on our SEO. I do have a question – our new address is on South Fehr Way. I always spell out the “South”. I now see that Google is updating us as “S Fehr Way”. Is this a discrepancy that matters? And if so, what are your suggestions?

    1. Hey Ben, glad it was helpful! Don’t worry about small nuances in the address format. Google normalizes the data.

  2. Building a client base is a very challenging task and it gets affected when we move our business place to a new creates disruption in the business process which makes it tough for the business to grow anything that creates inconsistency in carrying out business by NAP consistency. This means we should update our name, phone no. and address on our website. We should update our goggle and business page.

  3. One of my clients is moving her offices and I thought I had to fix the citations for consistency and trust issues. Reading this article I understand that the first thing I have to do is to change the address on the GMB listing and on the web. Will I have to verify the business again?

  4. Yes, moving your business can impact your search engine rankings. Changes in location require careful updates to online business listings, website details, and SEO elements to maintain visibility. Managing the transition effectively, including updating Google My Business, ensuring consistency in business information, and implementing proper redirects, can help minimize the impact on rankings.

  5. A case study that shatters prejudices @Joy Hawkins.

    I also don’t believe that ‘NAP’ and citations have a significant impact on GMB rankings. Was your business suspended when you changed your address? I’m concerned about that.

    I’m delighted to have discovered this blog on local SEO. Have a great weekend! 🙂

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