For a long time now, it has been common practice to share your physical address with Google and other search engines. The SEs used this information for search engine result displays as well as in their search algos.
No more. Well, kinda.
The good folks at SEOMoz wrote a nice piece on the recent Google Places change.
Here's a summary of their recommendations; I believe them to be good recommendations.
Thanks to Google Places Help Forum Top Contributor, Mike Blumenthal, I feel that I have arrived at a fairly clear understanding of how Google is now classifying different business models. I'd like to pass this information on in hopes that it will help you determine whether your business needs to hide its address on its Place Page.
Your business is brick-and-mortar and serves all customers at its location. Show your address.
Your business is home-based and serves some customers at your home and some on the road. Show your address and use the Service Radius tool.
Your business is home-based and does not serve any customers at your home. Hide your address.
I believe these are the parameters in a nutshell.
If you fall in the Type C category, you definitely want to “hide your address” at Google Places (aka Google Maps).
My problem is that Google Places heavily favors brick and motar businesses. I have a mobile client based in Stockton who serves all the way up to Sacramento, out to Oakland, the Tri-Valley and Modesto… yet he can only put his physical location down in the one location. The only other option is to just list his business in a general town (only one per phone number) but it doesn’t have the same search results as an actual location.
I think the best bet in that situation, Alyssa, is to lay out a service area (either by radius or by zip code, if I remember correctly).
Alternatively, set up mail boxes in various cities served, but that’s obviously not ideal.