wokka

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In google images you can now search by uploading an image and the results are very closely matched.

I have a shy older client who doesn't want to have their own photos on the internet, even on their own business website and even after being told that a great "about us" page will help with rankings!!

Anyway, I'm wondering if stock photos would be ok to use? I was thinking of buying them and changing their format from say jpg to gif with photoshop. But, if google can identify the images anyway does it look on them in the same way as duplicated written content?

Another idea was to "photoshop" the stock images together into a group shot or run them through a filter to change their appearance.

Quick disclaimer: I'm new to the minefield that is local :eek:
 

Colan Nielsen

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I have a shy older client who doesn't want to have their own photos on the internet, even on their own business website and even after being told that a great "about us" page will help with rankings!!

Definitely a best practice to use unique photos that are relevant to the business. Not just for ranking, but for conversion optimization.

I also find Google's comments on photos to be interesting and I interpret it as "don't use stock photos":

Keep it relevant. Photographs are a great way to share your experience with a business in an artistic, evocative way, but please make sure your photograph or video is about the relevant business page. We will remove photos that are not related to the business.

https://support.google.com/plus/answer/2689731?hl=en
 

Linda Buquet

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even after being told that a great "about us" page will help with rankings!!

Sorry, confused. Both times including title you said "about us". Which to me means the "about us" page on their website.

But we are used to getting Qs about G+ Local which has a page called about. And those the are rules Colan is referring to.

Are you talking on the website or G+?

My 2 cents = not knowing for sure which you mean.

"even after being told that a great "about us" page will help with rankings!!"

I don't really think that's true, if you are talking about the site. That's not normally the page that's even used to try to rank and is typically more of an info page. Plus images themselves I don't think help much with ranking.

And if you are talking website pics I don't think it matters if you use stock photos.

I mean G always prefers fresh content but I don't think she dings for stock.

On G+ L I always used stock photos and still ranked my clients very high so I don't think it hurts per se.

But I agree with Colan's point about the G+ L rules and often you need to read between the lines and she's trying to tell us something important about what she does and does not want.

And I agree original is best when you can - but sometimes you just can't and I don't think stock photos are a big problem either way.
 

Phil Rozek

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It's also worth keeping in mind the possibility that stock photos might be a missed opportunity to "grab" potential customers. Worse, stock photos could annoy them. "So you're telling me that Miss America will pick up the phone when I call the plumber, who also sports perfect pearly-whites and about 4% bodyfat?"

All considerations of Google's rules/preferences aside, I'd think hard about whether you should use stock photos on your Google+ page, regardless of whether or not you can​.
 

Linda Buquet

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Well but aren't there different levels of stock photos and different uses?

I mean ya a stock photo of a model holding a plunger on a plumber site is a bad idea. Or funky overused stock photos that scream cheesy marketing are a bad idea.

But high end ad agencies and web designers use stock photos for magazine ads, TV and all kinds of things. So in terms of quality and customer perception I don't think good unique relevant stock photos are always a problem, do you?

I think some people have a perception of stock photos as the funky ones you see overused by cheapo marketing companies on plumber sites. I agree those are funky and would never use those.

But the high end gorgeous Dental web sites, for example, that high end agencies create for $50,000 are using stock photos too. Higher end and more exclusive, but still stock photos. They aren't doing custom photography always. It would be too expensive to get custom photos and graphics done in some cases.

But for a local search consultant, just being paid to optimize the Place page - if the client does not have any good image and can't afford custom, what else can you do besides carefully chosen high end stock?

If I had a Dentist that only had images like the top right one here, which was actually on a Place page, you can bet I'd get some good stock photos rather than show that pic.

So like site design, with stock photos there are various levels of quality. I don't think we can lump stock photos all in the same bucket. Do you agree?
 

Phil Rozek

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If the choice truly is between (1) nothing and (2) higher-end stock, I guess I?d go with stock. Doesn?t mean it?s a particularly good choice, though. Before choosing stock, I?d ask my clients to snap a couple photos themselves, or to have an employee do it. I - and probably most potential customers - would take human, imperfect, real, and informative over glossy, expensive, and fake any day of the week.

I do agree that not all stock photos are bad, but in the case of dentists, there?s nothing gained by buying expensive pictures of teeth. We all know what good and bad teeth look like. But we don?t know what the dentist?s office looks like, what he/she looks like, what the waiting room looks like, etc. Photos should inform, and most stock photos don?t do that.
 
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