Google Cracks Down on Google My Business Image Guidelines

author image Written by: Nicole McCormick           Categories - In The News

Google Enforces New Review Process For all Google My Business Photos and Videos

It’s a fight to the death between Google and low quality, misleading, and irrelevant content, as the search engine giant announces stricter guidelines for photos and videos uploaded to Google My Business. This isn’t Google’s first attempt at cracking down on Google My Business content, as just last month, it revealed that over 75 million policy-violating reviews and 4 million fake business profiles were given the boot. But now, Google has begun targeting photos and videos, announcing that going forward, all images and videos must be reviewed and approved by Google before they can be published. The goal is to ensure that the photos being used on business profiles are actually of the business in question and are not misleading to consumers. https://twitter.com/GoogleMyBiz/status/1235604736684015617?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1235604736684015617&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fsearchengineland.com%2Fgoogle-signals-stricter-enforcement-of-gmb-image-guidelines-330548

What Types of Content Make the Cut

So, what types of photos and videos does Google not want to see? Google describes prohibited content that should not be uploaded to Google My Business as “Screenshots, stock photos, GIFs, other manually created imagery or imagery taken by other parties.” Google also added that “relevant, photos or videos must be taken by users at the location in question. If the primary subject of the content is irrelevant to the location, it may be removed.” Learn more about the additional criteria for photos and videos put in place in the official Google help document. In addition to photos and videos, text reviews and captions are subject to strict requirements including:

  • Not using reviews for advertising purposes, such as posting email addresses, phone numbers, social media links, or links to other websites in your reviews.
  • Not discouraging or prohibiting negative reviews or purposely soliciting only positive reviews from customers.
  • Not including any kind of promotional or commercial content.
  • Not offering or accepting money in exchange for reviews.
  • Not soliciting reviews from customers in bulk.

So, Who Decides What Stays and What Goes?

As for the new process for reviewing uploaded photos and videos, when asked whether this new process would be manual or machine-based, Google responded that both humans and machines would be involved in reviewing the photos and videos but didn’t say much else. “To ensure consistency with our policies for user contributed content, we rolled out additional criteria for photos and videos for merchants late last year,” said Google. “We will continue to update and improve these policies over time to ensure all content that appears in the Business Profile is relevant, high quality, and appropriate. While we don’t share specific details about our moderation processes, we do use a combination of automated and manual reviews, and continue to work on making photo approvals as efficient as possible.” So, there you have it. If you were hoping to update your Google My Business profile photos in the near future, be prepared to wait a bit before they can go live. Other than that, if you’re not planning on uploading any content could be classified as “prohibited content,” these new guidelines likely won’t have much of an effect on you and your business profile.

Nicole McCormick

Nicole is a wordsmith wizard, passionate about the written word and an avid storyteller who uses creatively crafted prose to help bring your brand’s story to the next level. A former journalist with writing credits in both local and national news publications and a few newspaper awards under her belt, Nicole now enjoys telling your stories and finding new and creative ways to create valuable content that resonates with audiences in the digital landscape.

Google My Business Tests ‘Areas Served’ Section in Listings


Good news for local businesses looking to beef up their Google My Business listings – it appears that Google is testing out a new feature that will enable businesses to add the geographical areas they serve to their GMB profile. 

While Google has not yet formally announced the change, Search Engine Roundtable has reported that some eagle-eyed SEOs spotted the change when browsing Google My Business Listings and took to Twitter to discuss.

While not a huge change, this small piece of information will be particularly useful for businesses offering delivery services or other types of at-home services like plumbers or electricians. Plus, for consumers, having this kind of knowledge will likely help reinforce their decision to purchase or obtain services from a particular business. 

“It’s such a fundamental question: does that 24 hour plumber in the next town over serve mine?,” Miriam Ellis Tweeted in response to Ben Fisher’s original Tweet.

Check out the full discussion over on Twitter for more insight.

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Google Introduces New Curbside Pickup & Delivery Features for Local Businesses


Good news for local businesses that have adapted their business model during the pandemic – Google is launching new features that allow users to see a business’ curbside pickup and delivery options along with other important information within Google Maps and Google My Business.

Such information includes:

  • Delivery providers

  • Pickup and delivery windows

  • Delivery fees

  • Order minimums for delivery or pickup

Google is starting off small, and will be rolling this feature out only for Instacart and Albertsons Cos. stores in the U.S. However, there are plans to expand to Maps and other partners later on.

Google is also currently testing another feature that would improve the curbside pickup process for customers by providing real-time updates between the customer and the store.

Here’s what this would look like:

A customer places an order for curbside pickup on the store’s app and it gets added to Google Maps. Google will notify the customer when it’s time to leave to pickup their orders, and ask them to share their estimated time of arrival (ETA). Their ETA will be continuously updated depending on the customer’s current location and traffic flow. When they arrive, customers can check in on the Google Maps app, and even let the store know where they are parked, and someone will bring out their order for curbside delivery.

Google will begin testing this feature with grocery store chain Fred Meyer in the summer of 2021, but only in select stores located in Portland, Oregon. It is unknown if this feature will be rolled out to include other stores and locations.

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