Don’t move a pixel on your Google+ Local Page before you read Google’s recently published photo guidelines. I’ll publish the guidelines here, in full, with a few considered remarks of my own, in parentheses:
Photos that are uploaded to Google+ Local pages should be relevant. Specifically they should:
-Not be graphical logos (so, if you’re your town’s business logo designer, don’t put logos on your Google+ page)
-Not be merely text, unless it is relevant to the place, for example the menu of a restaurant or a photo of the storefront with large fonts (got it)
-Not be copyrighted (so, everyone, including my competitors who keep bombing me with negative review spam, can take my photos, too? Attn: Mike Blumenthal…perhaps this rule was written specifically to solve this little issue.)
-Not be screenshots (okay)
-Not have people as the main subject (so, sorry to all you dentists who think a big toothy smile is the best showcase of what you can do for patients, and while we’re at it, stop those happy elders showing off on your assisted living organization’s Google+ Local page and as for those family portraits rendered by your photography studio, well, you’d better knock that off right now.)
-Be of respectable quality. Photos that are overly blurry, noisy, rotated, or too dark may be removed (okay by me)
On the level, 5 of the 6 guidelines do make sense. Some people may object to the copyright issue, but frankly, if you put a picture (or content, for that matter) on the web, thieves will be thieves. That other guideline, though, about having people as the subject, that really, really needs to be reconsidered. I’d love to know the reasoning behind this, and see if I can make sense of it, wouldn’t you?
Update: 7/26 See comments below. Thanks to Linda Buquet, I’ve been notified that these guidelines are meant to govern user generated content, not content published by business owners. Gracias, Linda. Not being telepathic, I’m apparently in good company with others who didn’t understand the target audience of this page, which doesn’t, as of this moment, mention UGC anywhere in the text. Perhaps Google could add a few words to the page to clarify? I hope so.