Google+ Local’s Photo Guidelines, or, Sorry Dentists, You’re Sunk!

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.

5 Responses to “Google+ Local’s Photo Guidelines, or, Sorry Dentists, You’re Sunk!”

  1. on 26 Jul 2012 at 8:09 am Google Plus Local Photo Guidelines

    […] Google+ Local’s Photo Guidelines, or, Sorry Dentists, You’re Sunk! 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 fe […]

  2. on 26 Jul 2012 at 9:00 am Linda Buquet

    Miriam, I just helped someone yesterday on the Google forum and in doing so stumbled across those guidelines for the 1st time too and was going to blog it and post to my forum today too. So you beat me to it.

    Great point about Dentists and the people pics!

    I’ll be sure to link to you in my posts too.

  3. on 26 Jul 2012 at 12:38 pm admin

    Hi Linda,
    The people guideline is really a stretch. Sometimes, I think Google writes its guidelines at the end of a long day. Hope they will re-visit that one. Thanks so much for the link and for stopping by. And, congrats again on launching your Local Search Forum!

  4. on 26 Jul 2012 at 4:35 pm Linda Buquet


    Big sheepish grin and embarrassing news for you.

    See my forum post for more details. But just saw a tweet from Blumenthal saying those guidelines we both posted about are USER guidelines not business owner guidelines.

    Made perfect sense after he said it and I’m embarrassed I went to all the trouble to post this and was wrong about it. :-(

    But Google did not specify and all so it’s their fault we took the info wrong and we aren’t the only ones. A business owner or consultant on the Google forum asked about it too.

  5. on 26 Jul 2012 at 10:46 pm admin

    Well, land sakes. That does make a big difference, Linda. Could you, perhaps, pull someone’s elbow at Google to title that page:

    Google+ Local user generated photo guidelines


    Thanks for letting me know about this. Google needs to make this a whole lot clearer. I’ll look forward to reading your forum post.

Trackback this Post | Feed on comments to this Post

Leave a Reply