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Google Update: Google My Business Image Guidelines

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On 5 March 2020, Google announced a change in its Google My Business image and video policy. Content will now be reviewed before it can be published.

Google My Business tweet

Google is working on ensuring each of the local marketers are aware of the new policy that will change the way in which the media are reviewed before publication. The new criteria have been selected specifically so that:

“All content that appears in the business profile is relevant, high quality and appropriate”

Google spokesperson

The rules

While the changes may be small, they are nonetheless still important and there is now less flexibility about what can be posted. Users are no longer able to use:

  • Screenshots
  • Stock photos
  • GIFs
  • Any additional, manually generated style imagery that does not show true features
  • Anything taken by another party

For the images to be accepted, they must be entirely relevant to the location, in either photo or video format. The content must only be taken at the location in question, and anything otherwise runs the risk of being rejected for not being about the primary subject. It’s unclear whether reviews will be carried out by AI or people, but the method will affect how long the process takes so there may be a small delay in your new media being displayed.

While these changes are now in place, this does not mean that the other image features are going to be removed. Images must still be optimised for the Google My Business listing in the same way SEOs would when placing images into content or a website.

Why is this beneficial?

In the past, Google My Business images were open for everyone and anyone to make a change to, and they could post any photo they wished, regardless of whether it was relevant to the business place or not.

This was almost breaking to some companies – not being able to properly showcase themselves within Google had the ability to ruin possible web and foot traffic with fake locations and buildings being displayed.

With this in hand, businesses can have the confidence that their listing is always within personal brand guidelines and that they have complete control over the portrayal of the company on Google.

Why we need to listen to the Google My Business image update

Those in the SEO industry will need to understand how important this new rule is, and why it needs to be followed from the very beginning. By doing so, they will avoid running the risk of having rejected content. With these new rules finally closing the doors on businesses being depicted entirely wrong, firm owners should be taking full advantage in order to save time and money.

So, be sure to follow the new rules to the letter and make your Google My Business listing as optimised as possible. With all of your additional features intact too, you will be able to reflect the true look of your company and keep those new customers coming in.

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