Yesterday Google announced in its Google Maps Google+ account that the Business Photos that are being taken by a Google Business Photo Trusted Photographer like my friend in Raleigh, NC, Charles Register are getting prime real estate in the SERPs (search engine result pages). Take a look at the example below.
This is important because until this point in time Google has for some unknown reason really buried this valuable online business asset. There are few better ways to see a place before you go than these photos and they look really good due to the process Google requires their trusted photographers to go through to put them together.
I love local search and I think there is great potential for anyone, including Apple Maps, to come in and do a bang up job on putting together accurate business data and making listings something that can be managed easily. Google has left the door wide open for a competitor to come in because, quite honestly, the do a terrible job with local listings. Thankfully their map functions are otherwise second to none and that’s why people, including business owners, still put up with the frustrations that come from Google Local.
Maybe this move to make these listings clean and more visually appealing and very prominent in search results is an indication that Google will be trying to do the right thing by end users and stop engineering for engineers.
Whether is happens to a great degree or not remains to be seen. In the meantime, if you are a small business that has a physical location that you can be real proud of then check to see if there is a Google Business photo trusted photographer in your area. It’s an investment I think any business who is serious about the online space should be considering.