WARNING Google Switching your Client Images to Another Company's Name? PENALTY?

Linda Buquet

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Hey guys, here's an interesting issue I've wondered about MANY times and thought maybe it was just a fluke. But now it's come up on the Google forum so I'm thinking it's happening to many of you as well.

Have you ever noticed this??? You upload an image that you take the time to optimize with keywords like "Dallas Dentist", or "Teeth Whitening", to your client's page. Client's name is "Johnson Family Dentistry". Then you check and Google renames the image Alpine Dental Care - some totally different dental office 1/2 way across the country???

IMPORTANT - SEE NEW UPDATED G+ LOCAL IMAGE GUIDELINES
AND MY LATEST GOOGLE CONSPIRACY THEORY BELOW

1st here's the Google Business forum question that came up yesterday and following is what I think 'may' be going on, but I'm not sure... what do YOU think?

Why are my client's images being renamed on my Local Page?

I use the same images for several clients (each image renamed uniquely for each client) are being renamed by Google with other company names when the edited listings become live. Each image has a unique name. How can I prevent this, short of individual images for each client?

Here are a few more examples:

Preferred Heating Cooling - Photos - Google+

Quality Comfort Services - About - Google+
Check her links. Look at the business name on the page, then look at the names Google has overwritten on some of the images!

My reply:

I've never heard anyone else bring this up. I used to specialize in Dentistry and had the same thing happen with my clients. I bought lots of nice stock photos. Named them all with the right keywords. Same thing happened. I even had images that I bought that I thought were somewhat unique and they'd show up with the name of some other Dental practice that was not my client. Must just be someone else that used that same image before I did.

All I can think of is that Google must have some type of photo recognition software and attributes the image to whichever company 1st uploaded it, and then adds that company's name to your client's image.

I suspect it's one of those Google things we just don't have any control over.
I've seen this a lot and can't believe no one's talked about or that I've never brought it up. But since I haven't been working much on client pages since I started the forum, the issue was just not top of mind.

Do you think this is a case of photo recognition software and it's giving credit to the company it believes is the ORIGINAL image source?

If so, then here's a conspiracy theory for you... Do you think your listing could be dinged if the algo assumes you've "stolen" the image from the original source???
We know how very much Google hates duplicate content, right???


OK, before you write me & my latest tinfoil hat off, CHECK OUT THE NEWLY REVISED Google+ Local Image Guidelines...

Google+ Local photo and video guidelines - Google+ Help

We reserve the right to both remove photographs and videos that violate our content policy, and suspend business owners who upload such media. Photos or videos that violate our content policy might contain:

- Violations of copyright
- Trademark infringement


(Read the rest, there is more, this is just the part relevant to this discussion.)
Now I'm sure the remove or suspend refers to copyright violations where someone accuses another company of stealing their proprietary image, but still, if the same image shows up on 1000 different Dental sites, like some of the Zoom Teeth Whitening and Invisalign images do, I wonder if there could be some type of minor duplicate content ding?

Have you guys ever seen this happen?

What do you think about potential penalties being at play especially if you use that same image on a bunch of different clients? Think that could cause a ding??? :confused:
 

Simon James

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Jul 19, 2012
Messages
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As they say, "reserve the right to REMOVE..." not rename.
Sounds to me like a screw up in a database somewhere.
 

Linda Buquet

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Ya could be, but has been going on for a couple years from what I can remember. Def not a new issue.

Just occurred to me, the average Dentist for instance that does his own Google listing, probably uses image off his site. Well most of those Dentists have sites from Dental developers that sell cookie cutter template sites and the same image is used on thousands of other Dentist's sites. Course in that case if they don't get dinged on the Places side of the house for the duplicate image, they'll likely get dinged on the organic side of the house for all the boilerplate duplicate content! :eek:

Same is true for lots of Chiropractic sites I see.
 

Simon James

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Messages
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Ya could be, but has been going on for a couple years from what I can remember. Def not a new issue.

Just occurred to me, the average Dentist for instance that does his own Google listing, probably uses image off his site. Well most of those Dentists have sites from Dental developers that sell cookie cutter template sites and the same image is used on thousands of other Dentist's sites. Course in that case if they don't get dinged on the Places side of the house for the duplicate image, they'll likely get dinged on the organic side of the house for all the boilerplate duplicate content! :eek:

Same is true for lots of Chiropractic sites I see.
If one could come up with a detailed report/case study, it sounds like a great prospecting opportunity.
 
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If Google has issues with stock photography, they need to come out and state it.

Like Linda, I work in the dental space and many times clients don't have their own photography.

And let's be honest here, some of these businesses don't have the "photogenic qualities" you'd want to portray for your business. In other words, their office is a dump. Sorry to be blunt, but if the foo shi, I mean if the shoe fits. ;)

I wonder how this will play when local businesses are moving from the traditional Google+ Local page to their Google+ Business page.

Example here:
Client's Google+ Local page before I optimized

After optimization AND conversion to Google+ Business page
 

Linda Buquet

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In other words, their office is a dump. Sorry to be blunt, but if the foo shi, I mean if the shoe fits. ;)
"if the foo shi" LOL Chris! :D

And yes I agree with all. And I'm not saying they have a problem with stock images or are dinging for them, just wondering.

If she's changing the name then she recognizes the image is posted elsewhere or even mistakenly thinks the other source is the original.

Have you seen this happen much on your listings? I think it's happening on all of mine. :eek:

P.S. Great job. That's a NICE looking Dental page!
 

JoyHawkins

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I wanted a specific example to research to see if I could come up with any theories but that girl who posted gave 2 examples and I can't see any of the photos in either showing up with the wrong name. Do you guys have a specific example?
 

Linda Buquet

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Joy almost all those images had the wrong names. Now they all just say Local Photos instead, so Google must have fixed them.

BUT they only fixed on her clients she listed, because she reported in the forum I think. They have not fixed the issue in general because my images are still all mixed up and referencing each other client's names.

I don't post links to my clients publicly so will email you. Then please come back here and confirm what a scrambled up mess I show you. (Don't have time to just search around and find some random example, but all my clients are still a scrambled mess when it comes to image names.)
 

JoyHawkins

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Hey Linda,

So I looked at the example you emailed me and what I discovered is that all the pictures that were labelled wrong, were labelled that way regardless of what profile they were on.

So for example, if you have Bob Smith as your client and you upload Photo A, Photo B, and Photo C on his profile, Google will (in some way) sometimes label the photos probably based on who they think is the original author/source. So if they label Photo A as "Bob Smith", and you use that photo again for Tom Smith, Tom's listing will have it labelled "Bob Smith" as well. Once it has a label, everyone that uses that photo for in the future will also have that label. I think this is how they keep duplicate photos out of Google Image search.

If I do a Google Image search for "mcdonalds", I would probably get the same logo over and over again but obviously Google has some way of keeping duplicate photos out of the index just like they do we websites.

So I'm guessing that photos that are used a lot will end up getting a label and that label will be applied on every instance of that photo regardless of what Places listing it is on.

In Linda's case, a photo called "Jane Doe Dentist" had that same exact name regardless of which of her clients it appeared on.

Here's a live example:

https://plus.google.com/104833171166893843812/about?hl=en
https://plus.google.com/111485651674693857238/about?hl=en
https://plus.google.com/117906020806235062336/about?hl=en

Everyone of those listings has the same photo of a teddy bear and the title of the photo is always "George Pepelnjak State Farm Insurance".



 

Linda Buquet

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Thanks Joy,

I think that's what I was saying is Google attributes it to whoever 1st had that image.
 

JoyHawkins

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Now I'm wondering about your "ding" theory. I'm going to start looking at clients who don't rank well and see if they have non-unique photos. I think you might be onto something...
 

Linda Buquet

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Hmmm let me know. I was just kinda throwing it out there. Wasn't really committed to the idea, but knowing G the way I do, it would not surprise me.

Except I used a lot of the same images with many clients and many have this problem and many are #1 or ranked high.

In fact I'm re-optimizing some stuff for a previous Dental client right now that has lots of images like this. And he's still #1. If he was having ranking issues, I'd pull the images and start over to see if it made a difference, but you can't get higher than #1 ;) so that would not be a good test, and it does not appear to be hurting him.

(Plus since I'm not actively working on Dentists any more other than a favor here and there for old clients, I'm not going to go out a buy a new batch of images. Mainly for him I'm just working on some Google buggy category issues, a dupe and doing more on-site optimization.)

But it still, the image thing makes me curious...
 

Simon James

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If G is using photo recognition software, or something similar, perhaps watermarking/superimposing a small image of the company logo in the bottom right hand corner of the image prior to upload would be enough to make it seem unique. Then ensure the files are more uniquely named, e.g. BarrySmithMariettaDentist.jpg rather than simply MariettaDentist.jpg
 
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I think that if there isn't a penalty, there isn't any benefit from using stock photos. Especially ones that can be found using Google's search by Image. It would make more sense to use unique photos that actually represent the business in question. I know I can tell what is stock and what isn't. G+ Local is about showing local businesses, so it would follow to actually use photos from that location. I take points off in my head for businesses that use stock photography and I'd gather that Google does too, in some form.
 

Linda Buquet

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It would make more sense to use unique photos that actually represent the business in question. I know I can tell what is stock and what isn't. G+ Local is about showing local businesses, so it would follow to actually use photos from that location. I take points off in my head for businesses that use stock photography and I'd gather that Google does too, in some form.
Hey Andrew, I get what you are saying that and can see why you would, coming from the mapping/POI side of the house.

Plus I assume you may be referring to many of the cheesey or low end, over-used and often copied stock photos. I'm talking high end, personally and carefully selected to represent that business.

Coming from the marketing side of the house (not being a mapper) I see things differently and there are a lot of exceptions I think. Keep in mind too, that to fully optimize a listing you should add 10 images.

For instance some businesses do not lend themselves to a pic of the location. Take an accountant for example. You could use a pic of his office. Not really very relevant to the service he provides. A pic of the accountant, maybe, but again from a marketing perspective that does not highlight to potential customers anything about the service actually offered. And again you need 10 pics. So if only pics on site were a building and a head shot. What else would you use for the other 8?

Another issue is that if you use images from the client site, most of them usually would be stock photos anyway, if a web designer built the site.

Another issue is that the images available on the client's site might suck.

So if a consultant is being paid ONLY to optimize the listing and for any of the reasons above, the site photos don't work or are non-existent - we can't be expected to pay a photographer to go take photos OR tell the business owner we can't optimize the listing unless/until they get professional photos done.

Professional stock photos are the solution and are part of all types of marketing, from site design to print ads to newspaper and magazines.

Plus just from a pure labor/workflow perspective...

Places image upload is almost always broken so you can't easily upload from the client site like you SHOULD be able to
. So you have to first hunt and peck viewing every page on the site to try to FIND 10 images - and that's IF they even have any that work, then download them all to your PC, name them, then upload them all.

If you have to do that for every client that's a lot of extra time/work. And again they may not even have appropriate images, so you waste all the time and still have to resort to stock.

Whereas a marketing company that specializes in Plumbers or Dentists or Chiropractors could buy 50 really well done stock photos and from their library pick the ones that work for each particular client. Of course, adding a couple from the client site that are a pic of their building or product or whatever is appropriate and available.

My 2 cents... :)
 
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Hey Andrew, I get what you are saying that and can see why you would, coming from the mapping/POI side of the house.

Plus I assume you may be referring to many of the cheesey or low end, over-used and often copied stock photos. I'm talking high end, personally and carefully selected to represent that business.

Coming from the marketing side of the house (not being a mapper) I see things differently and there are a lot of exceptions I think. Keep in mind too, that to fully optimize a listing you should add 10 images.

For instance some businesses do not lend themselves to a pic of the location. Take an accountant for example. You could use a pic of his office. Not really very relevant to the service he provides. A pic of the accountant, maybe, but again from a marketing perspective that does not highlight to potential customers anything about the service actually offered. And again you need 10 pics. So if only pics on site were a building and a head shot. What else would you use for the other 8?

Another issue is that if you use images from the client site, most of them usually would be stock photos anyway, if a web designer built the site.

Another issue is that the images available on the client's site might suck.

So if a consultant is being paid ONLY to optimize the listing and for any of the reasons above, the site photos don't work or are non-existent - we can't be expected to pay a photographer to go take photos OR tell the business owner we can't optimize the listing unless/until they get professional photos done.

Professional stock photos are the solution and are part of all types of marketing, from site design to print ads to newspaper and magazines.

Plus just from a pure labor/workflow perspective...

Places image upload is almost always broken so you can't easily upload from the client site like you SHOULD be able to
. So you have to first hunt and peck viewing every page on the site to try to FIND 10 images - and that's IF they even have any that work, then download them all to your PC, name them, then upload them all.

If you have to do that for every client that's a lot of extra time/work. And again they may not even have appropriate images, so you waste all the time and still have to resort to stock.

Whereas a marketing company that specializes in Plumbers or Dentists or Chiropractors could buy 50 really well done stock photos and from their library pick the ones that work for each particular client. Of course, adding a couple from the client site that are a pic of their building or product or whatever is appropriate and available.

My 2 cents... :)
Thanks for the different perspective Linda. I didn't realize 10 photos would make a page 'fully optimized.' I was mainly coming at the stock photo on G+ Local pages from a consumer angle. I'd rather see a couple good photos than stock photos. I know you have to work with what you have and photography is not quite easy, especially when you aren't or don't choose the photographer. Maybe I am also biased because I am a photographer myself.
 

Linda Buquet

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Hi Andrew, I didn't you you were a photographer too.

10 images are also needed to get to 100% complete on the listings. Additionally, if you don't fill up all 10 that's when Google often supplements and starts grabbing whatever images shes wants and sticking them on your page. Sometimes they are bad images you would not want shown on your listing.

Joy made a good point at the Google forum where we are discussing this. She said she checks the clients Facebook page too because sometimes they have some good images there that aren't on their site. Checking their blog if they have one is also a good idea I think. (Although have to be careful with both because some SMBs don't know any better and grab images from Google search that are copyrighted.)
 

m_j_gregory

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Aug 13, 2012
Messages
78
Found a Dental example that's not one of my clients.

https://plus.google.com/110715203975924287361/photos?gl=us&hl=en

The 1st couple images that have no text added and the bottom Care Credit image both have other Drs. names on them.
Hey Linda,

This is a very interesting thread, thanks for sharing! Also, I noticed on this example that the image file name for the default listing image is labeled (Hawthorn Dental Associates) which differs from the other 2 images in the 'photos' section with a file name (Kennestone Dental Designs). Seemingly, two different businesses.

In theory, one may think this could contribute to NAP/data issues?

Just a side note (could be common knowledge now), but we have seen Google remove geo-tags on images uploaded to listings dated back to the Places era.

At any route, thanks for this thread and to all who contributed, great info to know!
 

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