Over the years I have been told, “Google is misrepresenting my business” or have been asked, “How do I change the image for the front of my store when I find it on the map?”
Many times it’s difficult to determine what people are talking about without asking a few follow up questions or diving deeper into their issue. Come to find out they most often are referring to a small Thumbnail that is shown on Google Search Knowledge Graph or Google Maps, called “Street View” or “See Outside”. It is also on Google+ Here are a few examples.
Not very appealing and in some cases, totally way off! I mean seriously, a tractor in front of the building in which the lawyer does business?
This is more of a problem when a business has yet to claim their business listing on Google and upload photos that really represent the work they do. Up until 2015 it was impossible to change and we had to wait for the street view cars to come back and see if it got fixed. So how do we change that pesky “Street View” shot haunting our Google profiles? Before I get to that let’s explore how it gets there. Just so you are in the know.
How does the Street View image get generated on my Google profile?
At the very basic level the Street View image is generated from the Street View cars that have been driving around for years and populating the maps and search engine with imagery. Many times the thumbnail and angle of the photo is based on the proximity of the business address to that of where the Street View image was taken. The closest one is selected to represent that business location. Now if your shop is really super close to the curb then more than likely it will represent you well. But if your office is in a big building, strip mall or a shopping center then more than likely it’s not going to be accurate or very visible.
How do I as a business owner get the Street View image changed?
Your first instinct might me to try and contact Google. You will try to give Feedback to Google using their system from Google Search. But more than likely they are not going to drive the Google car out to your area to recapture your storefront. So that will not work. I would be surprised if you get more than an email Thanking You for your helping make Google more accurate.
Your only other solution is to get a hold of a local Google Trusted Street View photographer. This individual or agency will schedule a time to come and shoot both the exterior and the interior portions of your business for a fee. Upon uploading the images to the Google server, he or she will choose the views for the Outside thumbnail as well as the Inside thumbnail. This is what determines the image that Google uses on the Knowledge Graph. If you have a preference of what is shown in the thumbnail, let them know, otherwise they will pick something that they think will work best in their eyes.
Once it’s all done, you will get the Street View thumbnail replaced with either the inside view thumbnail or the outside view thumbnail on your Google page. It’s still not known why some places are shown the outside vs inside. Most likely something to do with the popularity based on traffic.