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Your Business Does Not Need a Google My Business Listing

Most SEO specialists believe that listing their customers’ websites in Google My Business GMB) is a necessity in order to enhance search presence.

I think they are mistaken.

Recent research I have undertaken shows that this is not true in certain cases.

Would Your Business Benefit from a GMB Listing?

It depends….

If you are looking for local traffic, yes it will. If you don’t then NO it won’t.

What is a Google My Business Listing?

A Google My Business listing is a Google business directory entry for your company. It contains company information, address and contact details. When people search for your business or for a service/product that your business produces, Google can display these details across a variety of different devices.

A GMB listing helps your business with search visibility.

It allows your customers to see your operating hours, address and contact info at a glance without having to go into your website to find the information. Crucially for online-based businesses, the directions that a GMB provides searchers may be useless or inappropriate.

This means, that a GMB listing for a global or international business may be detrimental to search visibility.

The GreenLine Case Study 

GreenLine is Balance Sheet Integrity software that has been on the market for about four months. Until recently, it did not have a listing in Google My Business. GreenLine is a software product that targets large to medium corporations all over the world. It will appear in only a few local searches.

Before we listed GreenLine in GMB, its main traffic source was organic traffic.

Once we set up a GMB listing for it, organic traffic dropped by 20%.

This is a problem because if someone geographically located outside the GreenLine local area searches for GreenLine, the GreenLine GMB listing will not come up.


After much deliberation, I decided to delete the GreenLine GMB listing.

It too soon after deleting the listing to assess the impact, but I will report back in the next few months.

About GMB Proximity Bias

When you search for a business or service, Google returns results that are geographically specific. This is called proximity bias, because it is based on your physical location.

Google Proximity bias will not show your GMB listing if another business in the same geographical location is closer.

Googles proximity bias trumps all else with regards to your ranking factors.

Do I Need a GMB listing?

This is a quick check to determine if your business needs a Google My Business listing

We need to go through a few checks to see if your business requires a GMB or not.

  • Where are your customers located?

If you know the general geographic area where your customers are located then a GMB listing is a good idea. The listing will allow your customers to find your location easier.

Potential customers will be able to see where you are located as well as your reviews.

  • Are you a service area business?

A service area business physically delivers services to customers. It does not necessarily provide service for customers at its offices.

If you answered question 1 by saying that your business is not limited to a geographical area and you do not physically deliver services to your customers, then you probably don’t need a GMB listing.


Going through all the research and articles across the web about GMB listings and if you need them or not my conclusion is:

If you are a local business and provide services at your location then yes have a GMB listing as it will increase your search visibility and show your business above organic search results.

If you are an international or national business then do not have a GMB listing. If your business is not tied to a specific location it could receive more organic traffic.

I am now monitoring Greenline’s organic traffic closely to see if our organic traffic goes up or if we need to do something to increase our organic traffic. To recover from the 20% organic traffic loss, we sustained.