Anaheim CA Flowers  Blog by Avante Gardens Florist
04 September 2010

Google Business Photos Visits Our Flower Shop

I was working from home on Wednesday and received a call from the shop telling me a photographer from Google had stopped in and wanted to shoot our store. Even though I was aware Google had a newish program regarding Business Photos for Place Pages, (having read about it on Mike Blumenthal's excellent blog) we never applied to participate - and my initial reaction was one of skepticism. Too many less-than-honest companies have been using Google's name to market their small business services for us to just accept these kinds of offers at face value.

Thursday morning, Kim - the photographer - again visited our shop and she was wearing a shirt with the Google logo. She noted the 'We're A Google Favorite Place' decal on our front door and smiled.  Sure enough, Kim is part of a team working here in Orange County and they're attempting to capture the in-store flavor of local businesses.

We received a document describing the program and set an appointment time for her to return Friday afternoon to take the pictures. Gotta say that having at least a day to 'fluff up' the shop a bit gave us the comfort level cushion to say 'yes'.  Am guessing other business owners likely feel the same way.

Since I closely follow the happenings in Local Search (and have been delighted to participate in David Mihm's Local Search Ranking Factors survey the last couple years), I was curious how the other businesses in our neighborhood were responding to this offer. As with many other opportunities on the web, it sounds as if the owners who use the internet infrequently don't quite understand how search engines and search marketing on the desk-top and mobile web are impacting their businesses - positively and/or negatively.

Kim is precisely the kind of representative Google should have on the street visiting local businesses. She's well-spoken, thorough, approachable and easy mannered. Her confident, professional demeanor has no-doubt lead more owners to say 'yes'.  

I asked if we could take a photo of her taking photos. She got clearance 'from above' (Mountain View ;) ) so here's a shot of her with the still camera capturing an image of our tropical flowers.

Google Business Photos shooting our flower shop 

A couple key points:

- Kim (and I presume other photographers) have a pre-set list of businesses to contact. Companies in our neighborhood not appearing on the list could only apply for a future opportunity.

- The photographers are using two different types of cameras and both are described in the FAQ.

- The sessions takes about an hour.

- Businesses who agree to participate can delete the images from our Place Pages if we don't like them. 

- There's currently no time-line stated as to when the photos will appear on our Place Page. 

- Software will automatically blur faces, but customers still need to grant permission to be included in the photos.  

We're looking forward to seeing which shots make our page. It hasn't been updated much by us since late '08 and early '09 when our listing completely disappeared for 3 months. Updating info can have unintended consequences - just ask Matt McGee - and we don't want to go through that again. 

I'm also curious what other uses these photos might have in the future - alluded to in the FAQ:

24. Will Google be using the business photos in other applications besides Place Pages?

Google is committed to continually innovating, and we're always looking for new ways to make business information more useful and accessible to our users. In doing so, we may create new applications that use the business photos we take at your premises. Your consent to allow Google's photographers to take business photos will also be used for these applications.

Click on a product display area and then be offered items in the category for purchase via Google Shopping? Image search for business so users can quickly compare storefronts, interiors and customary inventory? Any other ideas?

If you're a small business owner and get the opportunity to participate in Google Business Photos - take it. It's easy, quick and best-of-all...free. Hopefully you'll be lucky enough to get a visit from Kim or someone just like her. :) 


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# Twitter Trackbacks for Avante Gardens - florals unique, Anaheim, CA - Orange County Florist Since 1984 : Google Business Photos Visits Our Flower Shop [floristblogs.com] on Topsy.com said:

PingBack from http://topsy.com/floristblogs.com/blogs/avant_gardens/archive/2010/09/04/google-business-photos-visits-our-flower-shop.aspx?utm_source=pingback&utm_campaign=L2

04 September 10 at 9:48 PM
# Winnipeg Florists, Dragonfly Flowers said:

I love the fact that you took a photo of the photographer!  :)

06 September 10 at 8:39 AM
# SearchCap: The Day In Search, September 4, 2010 said:

PingBack from http://searchengineland.com/searchcap-the-day-in-search-september-4-2010-49947

06 September 10 at 1:24 PM
# Ben said:

Great article,

Thanks.

King florist of Austin

http://kingflorist.com

14 September 10 at 10:21 AM
# Claire Sawyers, Roses Are Red said:

That's cool that they came to visit you ; we're a florist in New Zealand at the bottom of the world, I wonder how long it will take for them to come and visit our shop? :-)

14 September 10 at 9:49 PM
# Rick Samuelson said:

Please send them up north to Southern Oregon.  I would throw a google party if they showed up in our stores and started taking picts.

19 November 10 at 2:37 PM
# avantegardens said:

Rick -

You can request an in-store photo shoot from Google on this form: https://services.google.com/fb/forms/googlemapsbusinessphotos/

We're still waiting for our photos to appear on our Place Page but I understand some of the earlier sessions area already showing up.

Cathy  

21 November 10 at 8:24 PM
# Mihmorandum | A New Kind of Local Search Result: The “O-Pack”? | Google said:

PingBack from http://www.davidmihm.com/blog/google/o-pack/

25 April 11 at 3:31 AM

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