Business Photos For Small Business – From Google Ross | April 25th, 2010

It’s tough to keep up with the whirlwind of online products aimed at small businesses, and tougher for small businesses to decide where to focus their attention and budgets.

A few days ago, I learned about an interesting new program from Google – focused on helping small businesses create photos of their business that would be published in the Google search index. Here’s what Google says in describing this program:

Do you own a business? Apply today for a Google photo shoot of your business.

Millions of potential customers visit Google every day to learn about places and businesses. Through scheduled photo shoots, Google is introducing a new way for you to showcase your business to the world. Apply now.

Where are photo shoots available?

Google photographers are currently visiting businesses in select cities in the US, Japan, and Australia. Any business can apply for a photo shoot, and demand will help us decide where to send our photographers next.

Where will the photos appear?

Pictures from the shoot will be added to your Place Page.

For businesses wondering why they should invite Google to take a photo of their business for free, Google offers the following answer:

Just as you can’t judge a book by its cover, you can’t always judge a business by its exterior. Interior photographs are a great way to show potential customers what your business is really like. By enhancing your Place Page, business photos will help your business stand out above the competition and get discovered on Google. Millions of users will be able to visit your establishment from the comfort of their own homes, or preview it to help them decide on a visit. Best of all, it’s free!

While you’re not guaranteed that Google will select your business to be photographed, it’s a simple application process and the program is free.

Do you think this a useful program for small businesses?

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  • Sandra

    I think it’s a great idea for lots of businesses, however for a restaurant portal website like mine it will make it harder for us to compete again Google. They are becoming more and more focused on trying to be a restaurant directory as well. It would be nice if they just left me to it as I do a much better job of it then they could ever do.

  • Sandra

    I think it’s a great idea for lots of businesses, however for a restaurant portal website like mine it will make it harder for us to compete again Google. They are becoming more and more focused on trying to be a restaurant directory as well. It would be nice if they just left me to it as I do a much better job of it then they could ever do.

  • Rob

    Right now, any business can set themselves up in Google places and add up to 10 photos. I’m not really sure what advantage there is in asking Google to take the photos, since you’ll have to wait for Google to get around to it, and I assume Google isn’t hiring top photographers in the field. I think the real tip it to utilize Google Places, not to use Google for photography service.

  • Rob

    Right now, any business can set themselves up in Google places and add up to 10 photos. I’m not really sure what advantage there is in asking Google to take the photos, since you’ll have to wait for Google to get around to it, and I assume Google isn’t hiring top photographers in the field. I think the real tip it to utilize Google Places, not to use Google for photography service.

  • Open Mind

    Wohoo clever! For mapping the streets google uses satellites. To get deeper into our privacy they just reverse the tool: photograph your “business” by yourself. Hey, it´s FREE and it´s the perfect advertising. You can make MORE MONEY only by giving up your last free space. From busines rooms its a small step to private rooms. And it opens the doors for the millions of facebook-exhibitionists (in the truest sense of the words) and wannabee-showstars that sell their private life for things that seems to be “free” and “fun”. It will only be a matter of time when private webcams are directly connected to google. Google wants to be everywhere – best in bed between you and your lover. Obviously there are no limitations for google – neither financial nor moral ones.

  • Open Mind

    Wohoo clever! For mapping the streets google uses satellites. To get deeper into our privacy they just reverse the tool: photograph your “business” by yourself. Hey, it´s FREE and it´s the perfect advertising. You can make MORE MONEY only by giving up your last free space. From busines rooms its a small step to private rooms. And it opens the doors for the millions of facebook-exhibitionists (in the truest sense of the words) and wannabee-showstars that sell their private life for things that seems to be “free” and “fun”. It will only be a matter of time when private webcams are directly connected to google. Google wants to be everywhere – best in bed between you and your lover. Obviously there are no limitations for google – neither financial nor moral ones.

  • Photographers

    I mean this bites. Google is now taking jobs away from freelance photographers that specialize in small biz. This is not good news. The job market is hard enough now we have to compete with Google’s free services. Terrible.

  • Photographers

    I mean this bites. Google is now taking jobs away from freelance photographers that specialize in small biz. This is not good news. The job market is hard enough now we have to compete with Google’s free services. Terrible.

  • Ross

    @Sandra – good points about competition and how Google’s programs make it a bit more difficult for others, such as your restaurant portal, to compete. You say you do a better job than they could ever do and I wonder if you could help people understand why – this is an important point that I think many might not fully appreciate without an explanation.

    @Rob – your are of course right that any business can upload photos. Surprisingly, many small businesses have little understanding or knowledge of Google Places – and I am still amazed at how many small business owners have not heard of Google. It’s a nice program – and maybe even more importantly – a reminder that businesses can also do this themselves.

    @Open Mind – I certainly understand your point, although I’m not sure how this particular program is a bad thing for small businesses. Small businesses want others to know about them – they just don’t have huge budgets for advertising. But the slippery slope … something to think about for sure!

    @Photographers – I wonder if you’re right – or if Google is hiring those freelance photographers to take photos of businesses that would not have hired the photographers in the first place. I suspect that, as Rob mentions above, small businesses that already have photos will post them by themselves to Google Places. This program is for businesses that are not very familiar with Google Places and who typically would not hire photographers for this purpose. It could lead to more work, and not competition – but of course, this is a guess.

  • Ross

    @Sandra – good points about competition and how Google’s programs make it a bit more difficult for others, such as your restaurant portal, to compete. You say you do a better job than they could ever do and I wonder if you could help people understand why – this is an important point that I think many might not fully appreciate without an explanation.

    @Rob – your are of course right that any business can upload photos. Surprisingly, many small businesses have little understanding or knowledge of Google Places – and I am still amazed at how many small business owners have not heard of Google. It’s a nice program – and maybe even more importantly – a reminder that businesses can also do this themselves.

    @Open Mind – I certainly understand your point, although I’m not sure how this particular program is a bad thing for small businesses. Small businesses want others to know about them – they just don’t have huge budgets for advertising. But the slippery slope … something to think about for sure!

    @Photographers – I wonder if you’re right – or if Google is hiring those freelance photographers to take photos of businesses that would not have hired the photographers in the first place. I suspect that, as Rob mentions above, small businesses that already have photos will post them by themselves to Google Places. This program is for businesses that are not very familiar with Google Places and who typically would not hire photographers for this purpose. It could lead to more work, and not competition – but of course, this is a guess.

  • GK

    How can I become a Google photographer?

  • GK

    How can I become a Google photographer?

  • Jeffrey

    You all sound like coal miners ;-)

    @Sandra, if you really do a better job, then you have no reason to be afraid. You’ll keep your visitors and can monetize them. But one must always adapt and adjust to the market, right?

    @Rob I think the advantage is the images will be panoramic like streetview ;-)

    @openmind webcams have been on google maps for about 2 years now ;-) http://maps.google.com/maps?lci=com.google.webcams

    @photographers I agree with Ross that if you’re smart, this can lead to more business. The price of photography would be approaching zero with or without google. If you want to pick an ememy in this, pick flickr, istockphoto, getty, … ….

    cheers,
    Jeffrey

  • Jeffrey

    You all sound like coal miners ;-)

    @Sandra, if you really do a better job, then you have no reason to be afraid. You’ll keep your visitors and can monetize them. But one must always adapt and adjust to the market, right?

    @Rob I think the advantage is the images will be panoramic like streetview ;-)

    @openmind webcams have been on google maps for about 2 years now ;-) http://maps.google.com/maps?lci=com.google.webcams

    @photographers I agree with Ross that if you’re smart, this can lead to more business. The price of photography would be approaching zero with or without google. If you want to pick an ememy in this, pick flickr, istockphoto, getty, … ….

    cheers,
    Jeffrey

  • Steve

    Google does know a lot in general about us. But Facebook knows a lot more personal stuff.

  • Steve

    Google does know a lot in general about us. But Facebook knows a lot more personal stuff.

  • http://www.photos-business.com/ Dendy

    thanks a lot for sharing!

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