Posted on February 25, 2015

Google’s new photo guidelines: Improved user experience and greater branding control

Recently Google updated their photo guidelines and layout in their Google+ pages. The upgrade greatly improves the user experience and helps a business brand themselves in a fuller, more impactful way through the web.

Essentially Google has divided their photos into different categories for easier management, but the division also allows a business owner to better convey to Google the photos they prefer to be associated with their business across the web.

The categories are now broken down as follows:

Identity photos – These are the principle photos a business wishes to be identified with and are subdivided into the following categories:

  • Profile: A showcase photo
  • Logo: The logo for the business
  • Cover: This is a large format photo that appears as the main photo in the Google+ page on the web.

Interior photos – Photos of the interior of the business, these should be high quality and demonstrate what the practice looks and feels like.

Exterior photos – Photos of the exterior of the building so first-time customers can easily identify what building they are looking for.

Product photos – This not applicable for medical practices, though if you with to highlight certain brands of eyeglasses or equipment this is a great place to showcase.

Team photos – Photos of the staff, both in action and posed. These photos provide a great opportunity to let your patients see the doctors and support staff at the practice.

Additional photos – This is a catch-all category. Any photos that do not fit into one of the categories above, Google will default those here.

The photo requirements themselves have changed greatly. Previously you could have many similar sized photos that were not of high quality and Google would automatically resize and display them in the best fashion possible. While Google will still do this for the Additional photos category, the other categories have very specific size and resolution guidelines. The information below is taken directly from Google’s new photo submission guidelines with my commentary in bold text.

Format: JPG, PNG, TIFF, BMP – These are standard photo formats.

Size: Between 10KB and 5MB – These are larger than the normal photographs you may be used to.

Minimum resolution: 250pc on the longest side for profile & logo photos; 720px on the longest side for other business photos. – These are very specific and new guidelines determining the exact minimum requirements for photos to be uploaded in the new categories.

Aspect ratio: The longer dimension of the photo should be more than four times the shorter dimension. Landscape photos look better than portrait photos on Google products. Panoramic photos may use different aspect ratios. – Again a very specific guideline to how Google prefers your photos to appear across their various platforms.

Quality: The photo should be in focus, well-lit, have no Photoshop alterations, and no excessive use of filters. The image should represent reality. – Basically Google is asking you to have clear imagery that reflects your business.

What does this all mean for your business? Simple; you can now have greater control over your online brand and the experience of those utilizing your Google+ pages. Google loves photos and this update is demonstrating and furthering their love.

If you are currently running a local search campaign with Glacial, you should contact me as soon as you can so we can discuss how best to take advantage of this opportunity. If you are not, well you should reach out to me for a whole host of reasons, this being merely one of them.