Google Maps Photo Hack

CraigJMount

Local Search Expert
Joined
Oct 23, 2017
Messages
45
Hey all,

Recently I've heard of a trick where you can "geo-tag" photos in a Google My Business profile. This process will allow you to rank in the geography they are "geo-tagged" for.

I have it on mediocre authority this is something that you can actually rank something well if done properly. I'm more curious about this process than anything, not actually looking to implement.

That said—what is this process? Like step-by-step how do you do that?

Follow-up: what are the results? Is it successful? Can someone show me an example?
 

Bryan Bloom

Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2018
Messages
22
I was thinking of this and it's easy to do, someone smarter than me said that google strips the geo location info from the photo as it's uploading, but I don't know for sure... if not then it should slightly help I imagine.
 

CraigJMount

Local Search Expert
Joined
Oct 23, 2017
Messages
45
See, and recently I've heard that Google not only doesn't look at the geo information, but can't? I'm not 100%, but still really interested in figuring it out.
 

Adam Potaznik

Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2016
Messages
50
I'm putting togther a trello board on how to optimise GMB, which I will release on this forum eventually.

Victor Smushkevich of Smart Street Media describes the process here:

For bonus points, you want to have descriptive keywords in the filename i.e. Los Angeles plumber work on a bathroom sink.jpg
Geo-tag each photo by editing the EXIF metadata before uploading to Google:
Geotag Photos Online
Geo tag Online|geo-tag images online — Geo Tag Online
Professional Photography software also does this
 

CraigJMount

Local Search Expert
Joined
Oct 23, 2017
Messages
45
Thanks Adam!

Does the EXIF information work in conjunction with the address of the businesses GMB?

What if the EXIF information is different from the GMB address?
 

keyserholiday

Local Search Expert
Joined
Jul 27, 2017
Messages
54
I am pretty sure Victor's tactic was debunked years ago. I think it was Alan Bleiweiss that asked this very question and John Mueller. I saw this tactic 6 years ago, tested it and it didn't work. It was also offered with the following advice, reverse the image and apply a gloss over the image so Google can't tell that you are using the same image repeatedly. Victor conveniently omitted the fact that he adds the geo modifier in the GMB listing name or the part that the reviews play in contributing to his rankings. Before I went white or gray hat, I created fake lead gen listings, bought fake reviews, keywords stuffed the listing title, did the all of the photo tricks. It was all a wasted effort as the listings got suspended.
 
Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Messages
32
A few years ago, you were able to mark the location of the photo on a map, but that's not available anymore. That being said, it certainly would not hurt to add geo tags on photos.
 

ianscott

Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2019
Messages
8
I have been curious about this as well, whether geo-tagging photos would be helpful. I'm having doubts though, because it seems to me, as @Bryan Bloom suggested above, that much of the EXIF data is stripped out.

As an experiment, I uploaded a photo that we geo-tagged to a GMB account. After uploading, we downloaded it and checked the EXIF data. Some of it had been removed including the geotags and photo description.

Here's how it looked after the image was downloaded from Google:



So, unless Google keeps the original data somewhere, I'm doubtful that this technique would have much effect.
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
1,726
I wouldn't bother unless the process took less than 3 minutes for the whole project.

Back in the day, before I wised up, I would follow every little bunny trail I could to get an edge. Whether it worked or not. Then I realized how much it distracted me from doing the things that actually matter, like building backlinks, website optimization, reviews, business listings, etc.

It's not worth it, in my opinion, to take time away from things that are 100% verified to be working to do things that may work yet provide low impact. In the amount of time you're doing this you could probably build a link that is worth 1,000x the SEO impact that this is worth.

Also, I realized that the people pushing these methods were the ones typically making money off of them. The thing about SEO services is that a lot of times the service doesn't even have to work for people to pay for it, since most SEO tactics can't be verified beyond the ones Google give the nod to, which are typically the basics. Also, causation is so hard to prove. You can check out an SEO service's reviews and they have a bunch of good reviews saying it works and a bunch that say it never worked. Why? For a lot of reasons but one of the major reasons is that something else bumped their rankings and they automatically assumed it was this service when the service doesn't do jack.

I'm rambling at this point. But I quit chasing services like this that are on the fringe in terms of whether they work or not and my results are much, much better.
 

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