More threads by Garrett Sussman

Mar 15, 2016
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Google My Business Reviews Add Photo/Video Option To Dialogue Box

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Over the last couple of years, Google has made a significant push to improve Local Search. They?ve played with the Local 3-pack, launched and improved their Google My Business Listing Pages with more complete information, started applying local context to search, and developed the Google My Business Knowledge Panel.

A few months ago, Barry Schwartz wrote about a subtle change on Search Engine RoundTable for Local Guides (their program to continue soliciting ongoing contributions from the community to improve local search). Local Guides would be prompted to include a photo or video in their Google My Business Reviews. The change came and went without much fanfare.

Earlier this week, I noticed that the normal unpopulated dialogue box that opened when you clicked ?Write a Review? had a subtle difference.

So What?s Changed With The Google My Business Reviews Dialogue Box?

Previously, the review dialogue box simply requested the reviewer to select their star ratings, and prompted them to review their experience.

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But as of this week, Reviewers are now also prompted to include a photo or video in their review.

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With the current online marketing obsession for video content, it makes sense that Google would encourage reviewers to enhance their reviews with visuals. From their new support article that provides some photo and video guidelines, ?Pictures are worth 1000 words.?

You can see the entire Review Photo/Video guidelines below.

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Curious as to whether photos posted with reviews were associated with the reviewer, I decided to experiment.

I found an old review I had left at the Barnes and Noble from which I sometimes work remotely. I selected the option to edit the post and added my photo. I went back to the reviews to see if my photo was beneath my review, but alas, this is what I saw ?

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So as of now, it looks like the photos or videos you post when writing a review are not connected to the review and just added to the GMB listing photo gallery.


I wouldn?t be surprised to see Google eventually modify their presentation of reviews by including the images or videos of the reviewer. There?s a certain validation for ?getting credit? for the photo that reviewers would most likely appreciate.

The photo/video review option has now been rolled out to all users (not just Local Guides), highlighting another way in which Google is continuing to enhance Local Search. If anything, this subtle change could help Local Businesses get more photos on their GMB listings which will benefit their search rankings.

Normally, I'd just put a portion of the blog post in this thread, but since it's a simple update, the full content is above. Feel free to visit our blog or give us some love anyway by sharing on Twitter, G+, FB, or any other social media channel.

What does everyone think about Google connecting the reviews to the actual photo taken by the reviewer? Is that a change we can expect?

Google My Business Reviews.jpg

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Thanks for sharing this update and your findings Garrett!
Thanks for sharing Garrett. You're timing is great. Had a landscaper client ask today why a review he got today wasn't showing the pics the reviewer said they uploaded in the actual review.
Thanks Scott! That's a funny coincidence, and makes sense that it would be confusing. I hope Google chooses to reformat and include the images soon. It just makes too much sense.

Then, watch them give preferential treatment to Photo or Video reviews in the GMB Knowledge Panel. That'd be my prediction.
I hope they do as well. That would be a great addition. These were actually before and after pics, so would have been ideal to have it on the review.

It wouldn't surprise me about the preferential treatment, but I hope not. If they do start doing this permanently, it has potential to become a Pandora's box scenario.
Interesting. I didn't think about why they wouldn't want to do that.

What do you see as some of the negative consequences of giving those types of reviews preference, in your mind?

I could see how in many cases the quality of the photo might not represent a quality review.
Just the fact that not every industry or even businesses within certain industries are conducive to pics. This one was a landscaper, so that would be great or remodeling contractors or the like.
Ah, I understand what you're saying. I just meant preferential treatment within the same business' Knowledge panel.

So Reviews of that business with photos or videos are more likely to be shown in that GMB's Knowledge panel over reviews without.
Ah, that makes sense. Good point. That may also include bad reviews with bad pics too. But then again, it's not like there aren't any bad reviews showing in KG anyway.
Yeah, it could be really interesting. When people write a comment on their review that the 'restaurant was really dirty,' versus having a picture of a dirty restaurant. Whether or not the restaurant was just having a bad day, that's pretty damning evidence that could live visibly on the GMB KB. The consequences could be significant.
Hey Scott, funny, I had to update the blog post, because I just checked that review I left with the photo, and it now appears within the review dialogue below my written review.

No review photos in the knowledge panel, but interesting to see they added the photos to the actual review so quickly.
Thanks for letting me know Garrett. I see it now in the review dialogue as well. If I look at the Classic version of their G+ page, it doesn't show with your review. It still puts the pic in their photos tab. It'll be interesting to see if this sticks.
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