Photos Can Now Appear with Google Reviews


Colan Nielsen

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I haven't seen this feature discussed anywhere. Joy mentioned that SEL might have posted about it but I can't seem to find it. Anyway, it's now possible to leave a photo or multiple photos with the review that you leave for a business on Google. I think there is some great opportunity here as consultants to advise our clients on how to take advantage of this new feature. I did a little write-up on it today.

A Google Review (With a Photo) is Worth a Thousand Words | Imprezzio Marketing

The obvious winners of this update are the businesses who sell products or services that rely heavily on visuals. Think ?people eat with their eyes, not their mouths.? Other winners that come to mind include hotels and resorts, tourist attractions, night clubs and music venues.

On the flip side, these businesses need to be even more careful about making sure that they are providing great products. Just imagine how quickly a hotel?s reviews can fill up with images of bed bugs. Or how quickly a restaurant?s reviews fill up with images of tables that don?t get cleared, or perhaps those pesky NYC rodents that like to make an appearance every now and then.
 

JustinB

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That is huge from an ORM standpoint. Many businesses will have to step up their quality factor in order to not get crushed by this update. Ever hear of the phrase, "a picture is worth a thousand words?", well now that will be exponential in importance for any business. That means a crappy one-off event can haunt you for years...
 

Colan Nielsen

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That is huge from an ORM standpoint. Many businesses will have to step up their quality factor in order to not get crushed by this update. Ever hear of the phrase, "a picture is worth a thousand words?", well now that will be exponential in importance for any business. That means a crappy one-off event can haunt you for years...
Exactly. It goes back to rule #1 with ORM....run a good business. It all starts when the online review is still just a twinkle in the customers eye. Don't give them a reason to leave a negative review and work hard to impress them.
 
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Nice article Colan and some great examples of ways to use the photo option apart from food / drink shots! I particularly liked the photos of the approach to your local catering company - perhaps this is an easy way for businesses to overcome that 'dated Street View' problem?

Additionally this line from the Google blog article intrigues me: "Speaking of food, aside from pictures of interior space or delectable ambrosia, Google Maps loves menus!"

I wonder if they're finding that restaurant / cafe websites are just so bad, it's almost impossible to serve up good quality menus to searchers and this is a way to overcome that? I'm going to give it a go the next time I'm at a restaurant - particularly since my food photography skills are pretty poor! - and see what the search outcome is.
 

JustinB

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I think this is meant to stimulate the Google Guides system that they are trying to compete with YELP on. If you take pictures you are getting points on Google Guide, so this is almost in step with that system.
 

Colan Nielsen

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Great points! Love the Street View idea. I also put on my "read between the lines" hat on when I read the menu comment.

Nice article Colan and some great examples of ways to use the photo option apart from food / drink shots! I particularly liked the photos of the approach to your local catering company - perhaps this is an easy way for businesses to overcome that 'dated Street View' problem?

Additionally this line from the Google blog article intrigues me: "Speaking of food, aside from pictures of interior space or delectable ambrosia, Google Maps loves menus!"

I wonder if they're finding that restaurant / cafe websites are just so bad, it's almost impossible to serve up good quality menus to searchers and this is a way to overcome that? I'm going to give it a go the next time I'm at a restaurant - particularly since my food photography skills are pretty poor! - and see what the search outcome is.
 

ehg

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HI Colan,

How did you managed to add the photos to your review fro the "Heritage house"

I tried to post a review via my Nexus mobile to a business but did nit see any option to add or upload a photo to the review.
Thanks
 

Colan Nielsen

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You have to use the "Add Photos" option. So you leave the review after or before you upload the photo, it doesn't matter, and then it makes the connection as long as they were left from the same Google account.



HI Colan,

How did you managed to add the photos to your review fro the "Heritage house"

I tried to post a review via my Nexus mobile to a business but did nit see any option to add or upload a photo to the review.
Thanks
 

srg257

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I was going to ask if it is possible to retroactively attach pictures to existing reviews, I guess the answer is No. Great post, will definitely keep this in mind for any future reviews.
 

Colan Nielsen

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Yes, it's possible. As long as you upload the photo from the same account that left the review they will sync up.

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
 
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Great point about restaurant menus Priya.

I was spoiled when I was living in San Francisco, because the combination of tech and restaurant competition has made it essential not only for restaurants to have a website, but to have their menus and other operational info listed on Google and other review sites.

I sometimes forget that restaurants in most non-urban environments don't feel that same sort of pressure yet to stay updated online. Companies need a website! They need to have the correct info on google and review sites!

In fact, it's still a great opportunity to stand out from competition. I wonder how long it will take for suburban businesses to step up their game across the board.
 
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I didn't realise this was a thing.

I left an honest review of a terrible pizza I ate back in January, and it now comes up as the featured image on their "see photos" part of their knowledge graph and also the main image when I search for them on Google Maps on my smartphone:

https://www.google.com.au/search?q=.....69i57j0l5.4414j0j1&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

According to "Your Contributions", the image has been seen 7,958 times in the past three months.
 
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It's interesting that the business is claimed but the owner hasn't bothered to reply to the recent negative reviews - including yours Adam, which as you've said has a photo attached that has been viewed a lot!
 
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Priya, it doesn't surprise me at all. I went along Chapel St and in Emporium (two boutique shopping areas in Melbourne, for those following at home) and I was astounded at the amount of retail shops that don't even come up on Google Maps when I am standing outside searching for the specific name of the shop. I would say that just this anecdotal evidence that 98% of physical businesses don't have a local search strategy or an optimised listing, or take the opportunity to provide a rebuttal to negative feedback.

In the particular case of this pizza shop, I imagine the former owner claimed the business, then sold the shop to the current owner.

According to my local guide statistics, I have taken 128 photos (most at those two locations) and they have been viewed in the past three months for a total of 282,440 times.
 
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It's interesting how Google seems to be playing really fast and loose with featured images on GMB. Even if a business owner only has 5 images associated with their business (all of which they uploaded) and they even took the time to correctly set the settings so that Google knew which image they wanted featured, there's still no guarantee that that image will stick instead of another one.

Add that in to how easily other people can upload an image, and Google's willingness to take those images and put them front and center... well. I'd be a little surprised if things don't change in the next year, but in the meantime it's definitely something business owners need to stay on top of. I've even seen a number of posts on the GMB forums about business owners getting stuck with images showing up for their business that a competitor uploaded... contact info for the competitor included. Interesting times.
 

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