Because Google allows just about anyone to post photographs of businesses on Google My Business (GMB) listings, businesses often run into the common problem of finding unflattering, irrelevant, or inflammatory photos when Googling their own establishment.

Unfortunately, this is a common headache among business owners, as Google’s policy favors consumers to post basically whatever picture they like so long as it doesn’t violate one of Google’s acutely defined parameters.

In this fashion, there are a few approaches you as a business owner or representative can take to ensure that the featured photographs are flattering and help drive consumers to engage with your business.

Try to Report the Undesirable Photos

This can be done from within your GMB dashboard. Don’t have one? You can set up an account here.

You will have to report each photograph one by one, by opening the Photos section of the GMB dashboard, then select the picture by clicking on it. For each photo, click to open it in full screen and click the small white flag icon at the top right corner to start the process (it may alternatively be a three dot icon). Mark them as unrelated to the business or any other available option that you think will be most relevant to the concern. From what we have seen, Google takes a while to review them, and unfortunately is not often sympathetic to businesses when the photos are related to the business, but rather just a poor representation (or even inflammatory).

Post Better Pictures

If reporting the pictures does not work, another strategy is to upload pictures that are higher in quality, so as to leap-frog the undesired photographs, and effectuate your pictures to be prominent. Google values 360° photographs the highest, so hiring an individual or business with a 360° camera (not the same as panorama) to take pictures of your storefront or office is an investment that will help improve your search engine marketing and instill a good, all-valuable, first impression. If you work with an agency, ask them if they have those capabilities or if they work with a trusted partner to produce them. 360° photography businesses are popping up rapidly as businesses are learning about the value that this process can add, so if you don’t have an agency, a quick search for “360 degree photographer near me” will likely produce a convenient vendor.

We recommend this practice even if businesses don’t have undesirable photos to usurp, since the 21st century consumer likes to know what their shopping experience will be like before visiting the physical location. And it’s always best to have better photos than your competition.

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