More threads by Barb Davids

Barb Davids

Apr 24, 2019
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Wondering if it's a no-no to post an image that is just text?

For example, if the update is a reference to a blog post, and there isn't a real life photo that can be used, can I just put the article headline on a colored background?

Just occurred to me, I could do a screenshot of say the tool being used but wondering how much text in images could be used?

@Barb Davids, if that's a no-no, it must be in the "unwritten rules" bucket, because I'm not aware of a GMB guideline that says you can't do a text-only photo. I've also used those in the past on a couple of outlier occasions.

Two caveats:

1. If the photos are cheesy, unhelpful, or hard-to-read enough, people may flag the photos and succeed in getting them removed.

2. I'd still throw a background behind whatever text you use, so that insofar as Google's AI can understand what's in the photo it also understands that it's not only text.
I always put the article headline on the post image in bold letters. Really grabs attention. Just make sure the font size isn't too small and the text is properly centered on the image.


The image is displayed in a different aspect ratio in the SERPs and the left and right sides are cropped. So you have to make sure the text stays within the visible area.
Hi @Barb Davids - It's a little buried but Google has a doc that extends the Guidelines with some Format Specific Criteria.

The specifics for text on photos include:
  1. Superimposed text or graphics must be relevant.
  2. Distracting superimposed text or graphics are not permitted.
  3. Superimposed content cannot take up more than 10% of the image or video, and must be limited to a single edge.
To summarize the document (which you should read because it's short and valuable), Google wants businesses to upload photographs that accurately portray the location with minimal manipulation. No screenshots, composite images, illustrations, stock photos, heavy filters, superfluous text, etc.

That said, just as eligible images occasionally get rejected by the nannybot, sometimes ineligible images get through.
@Stefan Somborac are you sure those guidelines apply to GMB posts? I've used and seen posts that are mainly text. I even recall someone a while back stating they saw increased CTR on posts that were CTA's made to look like a button (I think it was Joel Headley, not sure).
yeah, that doc applies to all listing images as far as I am aware, however there's really no policing of the images aside from user reporting. The automated filter doesn't catch much.
@Tony Wang

POSTS: The document "Make great business posts" ends with "Note: All existing Google My Business content policies, review policies and photo guidelines apply to posts."

PHOTOS: The document "Add photos or videos to business listings" states "Photos and videos follow our content policies", which links directly to "Format Specific Criteria".

Google's policy for photos applies whether they are uploaded to the Photos section of GMB or are incorporated in a post.

I think @Yan Gilbert summed it up nicely: the automated filter doesn't catch much. I've seen it work as intended: someone in the support forums was trying to upload a composite image of a multi-page menu but couldn't. As you point out however, it's easy to find examples of images that violate policy.
Thanks everyone for the input. I'll take a read of the guidelines link provided too.

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