Google is rolling up its sleeves and investing more in local search. Next week they will launch Google Business Photos. To start they are offering business owners in select cities the opportunity for Google to take free photos of a business’ interior space. In the US, proprietors in the San Francisco Bay Area, Orange County, Phoenix, San Antonio, and St. Petersburg, FL, can apply for a free photo shoot. Additional cities will be added in the future based on demand. Right now Google is focusing on restaurants, hotels, retail shops, and other storefront businesses.
The photos will be used on Google Places pages like the Sonic Boom one below to beef up the search engine’s local listings. Currently with Google Street View you can scope out the exterior of a business, but with this new feature, you’ll now be able to snoop around a shop or hotel without leaving your computer.
Google faces some tough competition in local search with the likes of Yelp, Facebook, and Foursquare, and Google Business Photos is clearly an attempt to seize more market share from these competitors. Adding these new photos definitely makes Google’s listings more robust, and the more rich the listings are, the less likely users could be to seek out other local search sites for additional information.
Tags: Google, local search
Marketing | Search
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