Understanding Google My Business & Local Search
Google My Business Photos 3.0 Launches
Google has significantly upgraded the interface and functionality of the photos section within the My Business Dashboard.
The new interface replaces the arbitrary categories with tags and allows for a simpler interface for the cover photo, the profile photo and a business’s logo. Although there is no ability to add custom tags, it is a simpler and easier interface that the previous one.
While the profile photo interface is easy to use, it is still not clear whether Google will use that photo or override it with their algo based preferences.
In addition the interface surfaces customer uploaded photos so that a business can see what user generated content exists without the trouble of going into Maps. They do not yet allow inappropriate photos to be reported or removed via the interface but one can hope.
Photos come pre-tagged in set categories. It behooves you to scan each tag result as there are the occasional errors. To edit the tag simply click into the image and select the info button upper right to change the tag. As noted there is no custom tagging at this point.
Click the info icon in the far upper right and the info panel will appear allowing for easily retagging the photo
Deleting a photo is equally simple. Just select the trash can. Google will then confirm the deletion.
In a recent case study, I found that 70% of web based actions leading to a sale occurred on Google, either in the Knowledge Panel, Maps or the search result. Photos seem to play a huge roll in both the first impression and the subsequent user action. Google research (found here in pdf) has indicated significant click through improvements on listings with photos vs those without:
Having great photos is one controllable step that can facilitate that initial client interaction. With this improved interface there is no reason not to take advantage of this bump.
Update: As a note different business types and different photos generated different tags. Given that I have not seen Local Guides asked about these I assume that they are machine learning generated. And I also assume that they will be editable when Google has in place a way to prevent abuse.
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Thank you for this quick and concise overview – as always 🙂
As always, my pleasure.
Nice write-up, Mike!
Is the recent study published anywhere, by any chance?:)
On the run at the moment. If I forget to put the link, ping me.
I think I found it.
You cover it in the latest deep dive – http://localu.org/blog/video-deep-dive-how-key-performance-indicators-kpi-impact-local-search/ , and I guess it’s behind pay wall here – http://localu.org/topic/metrics-that-matter-for-bricks-and-mortar/
I posted the link in the article above.
Hi Mike, any indicators of what happens with 360 photospheres? I guess with this you can tag as interior/exterior as required. Though would this differ if they were added using the legacy trusted photographer settings to generate a ‘See Inside’ option?
Great question. I will ask.
I’m not seeing this in my accounts yet. Looking forward to playing around with it.
Wonder how G will try to monetize this in the Local Packs…
ITs rolling out now so you should see it within the week assuming they don’t find significant bugs.
Same as Brian, don’t see it yet. My question is, does this propose opportunities SEO wise? From what I can see images will each have an info panel which could be used to input a image description with keywords? In turn helping the GMB page appear for more relevant terms?
Looks like a nice upgrade – thanks Mike 🙂
Ran through this all morning – comparing to extensive screenshots and several account that have the old interface. This appears to be nothing but a new skin – using the tag rather than the row-based interface. I can’ t detect any change in functionality other than the “from owner” tag. This removes the logo, profile, and cover from the list (since you can use photos tagged for your business from other sources as a profile — also not new).
The tag feature for each photo still limits you to one preset category. The replaces the old drag-and-drop functionality of the old interface.
Will be interesting to see if this interface eventually will pull in photos tagged for the business by reviewers, local guides, etc.
Probably should have noted that the new interface hit my GMB accounts very early this morning 🙂
One reasonable change is the ability to see UGC photos from the same dashboard. I assume but do not know that google will allow for reporting of those from the interface and also assume that tagging will be expanded. It’s another way for google to learn about the attributes of a business.
I’m not seeing the photos added by Google Local Guides or Google reviewers – just the ones uploaded by the owner as per the previous GMB Photos interface. Nor am I seeing any automatic photos pre-tagged. Only photos placed in the GMB categories in the previous interface appears tagged. Any photos that previously were in “Additional Photos” are not getting tags. Reviewing about 70 accounts at this time – about 1/4 have transitioned to the new interface.
It does not appear that the bulk load spreadsheet has changed for accounts that have transitioned.
I will keep monitoring to see if local guides, reviews, or third-party photos show up.
Now seeing customer buttons in the appropriate accounts that have not reverted.
Thanks Mike for the update! I’m loving the continuous upgrades these days. And I agree that photos are super important for conversion.
Mike, this update hasn’t hit Australia from what I can tell. We’re still on the old interface.
Just a quick note – did you know that you can now upload 360° photos to a places page that is not associated by address? (when you click on the box that says you go to your customer and they don’t come to you).
This is not for full blown virtual tours but you can load, move around in and zoom on a 360° photo as long as they are uploaded individually. This is a big plus for both Google Trusted photographers who are pretty damn good at creating these monster images and great for a business that can benefit from showing off their work (think of people on a construction site – 360 before the walls go up – or commercial painters in action, rollers and sprayers in a big room with a 360 shot)
have a look at my profile to see. In my case, I simply show samples of my work which happens to be my clients.
Oh I really like that. Images have needed some love for a while now. Thank you for sharing.
When do you think custom tagging will be introduced?
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