Google has pretty much stated outright that adding photos to your GMB listing will increase visibility. Like most aspects of Google My Business, quality > quantity. Your photos should all be photos of your business, your team, and your office. Do not use stock photos or screenshots, while they might get approved and added to your business they may get removed or flagged in the future.
Try to upload a mix of interior, exterior, and team shots so customers can see a variety of different photos of your business.
- interior photos – photos of the inside of your business
- exterior photos – photos of the outside of your business
- product photos – photos of your company products, these can be professional lightbox photos or amateur photos
- at-work photos – photos of your staff in action
- food & drink photos – special designation normally reserved for restaurants and coffee shops
- common area photos – special designation normally reserved for hotels and similar establishments
- rooms – special designation normally reserved for hotels and similar establishments
- team photos – photos of your staff members at work, this can be a few of them in a small group or a whole company shot
Google My Business Cover and Logo
When Google My Business added the “logo” feature a little while back, I was a bit puzzled. None of my listings seemed to “work.” Meaning, I would add logos, Google would “accept” it but they would never appear on the Google knowledge panel. Shortly after I discovered that the logo really only shows up on mobile. So if you are looking for your logo on desktop, you probably won’t find it. I checked 5-10 other businesses with very optimized listings and confirmed this.
The logo is a tiny icon that appears right justified to the official name of the business on a GMB listing. The cover is quite simply, a header image that sits at the top of your listing.
Note: just because you designate a logo or a cover image, doesn’t mean Google will use that image in the knowledge panel / search results.
In fact, I would say that most of the GMB profiles I come across have a different cover image than the one they choose. You can increase your chances of getting your cover image chosen by using a high quality image.
What do I do if an ugly photo is showing up as my cover image?
We’ve had this happen recently. A customer uploaded a random photo to a clients GMB profile, and for some reason Google started using it as the cover image. In our case we first were able to get the photo removed. We then re-uploaded a new high quality photo and re-designated it as the cover image. Usually the best case scenario is that Google will use the photo you chose, the worst case is it will use another random photo.
Good practice: Always act as if every photo you upload to Google My Business may be used as your cover photo.
Google My Business Photo Guidelines
Google has kindly given out some photo standards, which are fairly easy to live by. Your photos will look best on Google if they meet the following standards, taken directly from Google:
Image / Photo format: JPG or PNG (sadly Google doesn’t say anything about their own image format WebP, but I haven’t tried either. )
File Size: Between 10 KB and 5 MB.
Minimum resolution: 720 px tall, 720 px wide. (I’ve found that square aspect images work best, but both horizontal and vertical rectangles work great also)
Quality: The photo should be in focus and well lit, and have no significant alterations or excessive use of filters. In other words, the image should represent reality.
Customers love to look at photos before they come to your place of business, especially places like hair salons, restaurants, and coffee shops.
Myth: Does exif data in GMB help my rankings?
Probably not, maybe…I don’t know. Someone on reddit claimed to debunk this at one point. Maybe it helped at one point in the past, maybe it will help in the future. Bottom line: if you have the time and want to do it, it really can’t hurt you to add exif data to your photos in Google My Business but I would really lower your expectations. The whole theory behind this is that by adding exif location data to your photos, GMB’s algorithm would “give mad props” to photos that belong to the location that you are trying to rank for. While in theory this makes sense, it was probably just another SEO myth.
Removing Photos from Google My Business
Removing photos from Google Maps can be a bit tricky. If you uploaded the photos yourself, it is as simple as going to Google My Business Photos, locating the photo, and deleting it. If you don’t own the photo, flag it and chances are it will get removed. Just be sure to note “other” and say that it is either low quality, or duplicate. You don’t want to get someone in trouble.
n the example above, you can see the photo is of poor quality, and it could be reported for removal (I didn’t really report it).