More threads by 360 Spin

Ahhh, very cool share Malcolm. I had not gotten to it yet.

Can't wait to dig in!
I just weighed in over there. Here are my thoughts...

"Wow Jeff, fantastic article. Can't wait to dig in a little more.

A couple of my new Advanced G+ Local training clients are BPTPs and I've asked them to start tracking before and after rankings for clients.

Short of having any type of concrete data, here are some thoughts I have...

I'm thinking just doing photos won't directly boost rankings. However I think it can increase TRUST, which does play a part in the local algo to some degree. Part of the local algo involves trying to weed out scammers and spammers with fake locations. Plus we know Google favors brick and mortar businesses in local. So having a photog come in and shoot the physical location could be sort type of minor trust signal.

PLUS having a 3d tour could increase engagement and click-through on Google and both are measured and play some part in the algo.

Regarding the ranking analysis... I do local ranking troubleshooting all the time and there are many other variables that can be at play. A couple issues...

On-site organic factors still IMO rule the top of the pack. Usually A - C, but it varies based on competition. So that's why you can find unclaimed bare Place pages with no reviews in the A spot. It's due to their organic strength. So domain age or even backlink analysis does not tell the whole story. Because the right type of "local" SEO can overshadow other factors oftentimes.

On the flip side, a business could have great on-site SEO, business photos and tons of reviews and citations. In otherwords they could have everything going for them - BUT if they have Place page violations or Places ranking penalties or dupes, they will drop out of the pack and won't rank in the 7 pack at all - even though they have done everything else right.

So anyway, any type of analysis would need to look at a bunch of other factors but I still think this info is super interesting and helpful.

Many of the local search pros I train are interested in finding out more about business photos so I'm planning a webinar soon. Maybe you could join us and weigh in with some of your findings?"
Linda, You are so very correct. Everything you described is what had drawn me to your site earlier this year. I was wanting to know answers to why I noticed certain business get bumped up after the photos while others did not. Clearly I knew I was missing something and naturally I want the best for my customers.

I knew I was on the right track once I heard the various strategies that Linda and her pros promote here (there's plenty of misleading info out there) because when +Local started to form, us photogs were right in the middle of all of those technical issues and needed quick answers from Google. We have info but there's plenty that we didn't know and still don't because the bigger picture for +Local is still being rolled out and of course things change so rapidly.

I am willing to share what I've seen and done... but in no way can I claim that it officially relates to ranking factors. Does it help reach a more targeted audience? Yes we have some data on that. But, what ever we uncover or share here on the forums has to be on a case by case basis only for now and is not meant to be the same for every business. Sorry for the bit of a disclaimer but I thought I'd put that out there just in case.

Do the photos and tours build trust with targeted audiences, Yes they do. Would a customer be more likely to decide to go somewhere once they knew what it offered, what it looked like, once it set those expectations? It's attractive but that's for the customer to decide.

But does it also mean that Google now knows that you are who you say you are? Yes it does, and IMO that is huge! It's now easier to detect the real from the spammy. I say, Algo, do your spam detection elsewhere!

Can't wait till we all start digging deeper on this feature.. this should be very exciting.
Thanks so much for weighing in Louis. I was looking forward to your insights.

Looking forward to brainstorming these issues with you on our Pro conference call on Thursday.
I'm happy to add into the topic as much as possible. For example, we can talk about how I've seen the photos affect the carousel and the new maps 3 pack, etc... but I figure give a bit of an over view for starters and then we can add more as we go along. There's a lot to talk about. ;)

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