That's rough. Your client isn't the only one this has happened to either. I had a client recently that had their profile image replaced with a low-quality image that was scraped off a major 3rd party directory. In that case it wasn't as pressing, and I was able to get it fixed in two days just by doing the normal 'reporting an image' route. I really hope Google starts giving business owners a little more control over the images associated with their account (at least for verified listings, where someone's obviously manning the fort?) Start by reporting the image of course, the next step though would be to contact GMB support directly. Good luck.
I actually just wrote a couple pages on this yesterday for my training course. I'll paste it in here without the screenshots as I'd have to manually download and reupload every one.
In some verticals it’s a common spamming practice for individuals to upload photos of their own company onto the listings of their competitors in efforts to hijack their traffic. These photos normally have their contact information on them.
How do I see what photos users have uploaded to my listing?
Go into the GMB dashboard, click the photos tab and the “by customer” label.
Is there a way to automatically track when new photos get added?
Google doesn’t currently alert business owners when new photos have been added to their listing but if you use Bright Local for tracking, they have a feature that will track changes to your GMB listing which includes photos. You can have it set to email you every time they notice a change.
What’s the best method to report an abusive photo if I see one?
The best method is to report the user who uploaded the photos. That way Google can remove the entire account (not just the one photo) which will make it a bit harder for them to add it back again.
Click on the photo in question. In the top left corner of the page it should list the username for who added the photo next to a little photo icon.
Thanks Joy. Great read. I didn't know that Brightlocal did that. I think that is great. I need to look into that service.
I contacted Google yesterday afternoon around 5:00 eastern, I chatted with a rep in Ann Arbor, who agreed that the photo was not right, and that the person was a spammer. He said he would turn it over to his team to delete, but wasn't sure if they would.
The photo was deleted by 9:00am Eastern today, so that worked (I did also report it online).
I think it happened quick because the photo was borderline offensive, certainly offensive to the business owner, and the rep said it looked like a spammer.
. . . now on to fight the same battle with my Car Dealer customer who is pissed off his service waiting room is showing up, and not his exterior (I don't blame him, but, don't think we will be as succesful).
New advertising option:
A review of your product or service posted by a Sterling Sky employee. This will also be shared on the Sterling Sky & LSF Twitter accounts, our Facebook group, LinkedIn, and both newsletters.