GMB map pack: What triggers images coming up in map pack on SERP?

Mindquest

Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2013
Messages
73
When the map shows on search results sometimes I see images next to the GMB listing (EX. "Grocery Store"). For this example the images on the map pack are from the GMB profile.

But for other types of business (ex. accounting, finance...etc) no images show up in the map pack. It there a clear cut reason why some map packs show images from GMB and other categories do not? Is there a way to trigger images to show up for categories that aren't currently showing images in the map pack?

Thanks for your thoughts!

GMB-image.jpg
 

Margaret Ornsby

Local Search Expert
Joined
Jul 22, 2013
Messages
502
Hi @Mindquest

You've touched on the answer. It is category based.

I've also seen it fluctuate on categories, so I'm thinking this is one of those things Google tweaks and tests.

Broadly speaking, it appears the main variation is services vs product businesses (as in, services don't have pics, product based biz do). I'm sure there are exceptions to this, so don't take it as a firm rule, more of a generalisation.
 

Mindquest

Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2013
Messages
73
Hi @Mindquest

You've touched on the answer. It is category based.

I've also seen it fluctuate on categories, so I'm thinking this is one of those things Google tweaks and tests.

Broadly speaking, it appears the main variation is services vs product businesses (as in, services don't have pics, product based biz do). I'm sure there are exceptions to this, so don't take it as a firm rule, more of a generalisation.
@Margaret Ornsby Thanks for the reply!

In my research I was starting to see the same thing where service based business categories aren't showing images in the map pack. Thanks for confirming my suspicions!

@JoyHawkins have you ever seen a service based business category that shows images on the map pack? Or ever written about this topic?
 

Yan Gilbert

Administrator
Joined
Oct 15, 2016
Messages
398
I've only seen images like this for businesses that are large spaces, for example:
car dealerships, art galleries, museums, hardware stores...
 

JoyHawkins

Administrator
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LocalU Faculty
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Jul 18, 2012
Messages
3,648
I have never seen a way to trigger them but there are definitely service-based industries that have had them. I used to see them everywhere for pest control but I don't see them currently. Here is a screenshot I took last year:

1578339113172.png


I literally can't look at that without shuddering...so gross.
 

Mindquest

Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2013
Messages
73
I have never seen a way to trigger them but there are definitely service-based industries that have had them. I used to see them everywhere for pest control but I don't see them currently. Here is a screenshot I took last year:

View attachment 5264

I literally can't look at that without shuddering...so gross.
Thanks @JoyHawkins for the reply!

My main focus for this question is B2B type local services (ex. finance, law, outsourcing). I still haven't seen one picture in the map pack for any of these business types so good to know I wasn't missing something.

Can I assume it is probably the product vs service distinction that is driving this more that one business category vs another?
 

JoyHawkins

Administrator
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LocalU Faculty
Joined
Jul 18, 2012
Messages
3,648
I think it's likely something Google is basing on user interaction signals. I'm *assuming* they eventually got rid of it for pest control because someone clued in that users like myself don't like seeing pictures of spiders!!!

I believe it's query-based vs category based but will ask some others to confirm.
 

Mindquest

Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2013
Messages
73
I think it's likely something Google is basing on user interaction signals. I'm *assuming* they eventually got rid of it for pest control because someone clued in that users like myself don't like seeing pictures of spiders!!!

I believe it's query-based vs category based but will ask some others to confirm.
Thanks for the reply and checking into it with your colleagues!
 

mblumenthal

1
LocalU Faculty
Joined
Oct 11, 2012
Messages
94
My sense is that it is broadly query driven around the idea, like Margaret mentioned, of tangible products vs intanglible services.... because it is query driven there is likely some ambiguity and mistakes and cross over.

Generaly jewelry, sporting goods, cars, clothing etc shows images while doctors, lawyers, hvac, car repair do not.

An interesting example can be seen in these searches

jewelry appraisals williamsville vs appraisals williamsville where the jewelry modified search shows an image for Barbara Oliver where as the non modified search does not.

Or in these
vehicle repair buffalo shows images
auto repair buffalo nor car repair buffalo neither show images

Perhaps Google understands Car repair as an thing but just sees vehicle repair as two words from which it needs to make a decision.
 

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