Google My Business Releases Images Guidelines, Implementing Stricter Enforcement

Ray Wang

Google My Business has released new image guidelines stating that the Google-powered service will review all images and videos before the images and videos are published.

Examples of new image guidelines include:

  • Stylistic adjustments (such as applied filters) are acceptable, provided that these stylistic changes are minimal and are not appended elements such as borders, text, collaged images, etc.
  • Content that makes it difficult for others to understand the environment you’re sharing may be rejected.
  • Examples are excessively dark or blurry images, significantly rotated compositions, and use of filters that dramatically alter the representation of the place.
  • Images must be of a sufficient resolution. Exact requirements may vary by photo type and point of upload.

For videos, only upload content that is stable and has good visual quality. Content that is out of focus, shaky, or has bad exposure should not be uploaded. Distorted or corrupted videos are not allowed.

Image guideline: https://support.google.com/contributionpolicy/answer/7411351

When a member of media asked Google whether the review is performed manually or through a machine, Google replied stating that both humans and machines in involved in the review process.

Here’s Google’s official statement:

To ensure consistency with our policies for user contributed content, we rolled out additional criteria for photos and videos for merchants late last year. We will continue to update and improve these policies over time to ensure all content that appears in the Business Profile is relevant, high quality, and appropriate. While we don’t share specific details about our moderation processes, we do use a combination of automated and manual reviews, and continue to work on making photo approvals as efficient as possible.”

— Google spokesperson

The new image guideline will affect business owners and Google My Business managers because the guidelines are ambiguous which may lead to images to be taken down or disapproved. For example, the guideline “[s]tylistic adjustments (such as applied filters) are acceptable, provided that these stylistic changes are minimal and are not appended elements such as borders, text, collaged images, etc.” may cause images that have been edited moderately in Photoshop to be disapproved by Google My Business because the image is heavily manipulated from Google My Business’ perspective.

Only time will tell how the new image guideline will affect users’ Google My Business listings.

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