Not all businesses serve their customers from a brick-and-mortar storefront. Folks like photographers, piano tuners, and plumbers tend to travel around town to provide their services, and may operate from home. To better connect with all the customers they serve, these businesses can now use Google Places to specify a service area -- that is, where they’re willing to travel to do business.

If you operate one of these types of businesses, you can set a service area for a listing in your Google Places account quickly and easily. If you have a limit to how far away you’re willing to travel, you can set your service area as a circle around a specific location. If you have a particular list of places where you work, you can list your areas served (by zip codes, cities, counties, or even neighborhoods).

When customers search for you on Google Maps, they’ll see something like this:

If you run your business from a home or private office and don’t have a location for customers to visit, you can choose to show your service area but mark the listing address as private in your Google Places account. When a customer searches for you, they’ll see the business service area, but no specific location marker:

In addition to letting business owners list their service areas, we’ve also aggregated data from third-party sources to expand the number of businesses with service areas and help keep the information accurate and up-to-date. To see a business’ service areas, click on the “show service area” option (when available) in the info bubble. To learn more about service areas on Google Maps and in your Google Places account, take a look at this short introductory video we’ve put together: