How to link or embed a Street View Virtual Tour in 2016

It’s time to write yet, another tutorial on how to link and embed a Google Street View Tour.

Since 2012 Google has done a lot in terms of changing the way their software functions. From search engine changes to Maps changes there’s enough to make us business owners go a bit nuts. It’s important to re-learn how we navigate the many options Google gives us especially when moving between Search to Maps.

A few months ago Google changed the way that our Street View Tours appear depending on where you click to see it. You can get the tour from we call a Photos interface which will show all the photos for a particular business from the Knowledge Graph or the Maps interface that lives on Google Maps.

Many people ask why they change things so much and if you are curious then the short answer is, “to be more mobile friendly.” Instead of making 2 different platforms they make one and it conforms to the device you are using. In doing so, they have either temporarily removed some functionality or have done away with it all together.

Let’s go ahead and dive in.

How to find my Virtual Tour Direct Link and Embed Code?

In this section we outline three methods from Desktop/Laptop to Mobile devices such as a phone and tablet. Google doesn’t allow us to grab the link from the photos interface nor the See Inside interface on search. Instead, we are forced to get it from the maps interface.

Method 1: Finding the linking options on a Desktop/Laptop if on Google Maps

  1. Start at Google.com/maps
  2. Search for your business name in the upper left hand corner
    search-your-business-on-maps
  3. Your Google Business profile card will appear. Your tour will be visible at the bottom of this profile card.
  4. Click onto your Inside or Outside Tour thumbnail.
    your-business-tour-on-maps
  5. The Screen will switch to show your virtual tour.
  6. In the upper left hand corner you will see a semi-transparent black rectangle with your business name and a date. This box contains 3 small vertical dots.
    tour-share-options
  7. After clicking the 3 dots you will find the options to share and embed the tour.

Alternate Method 1: Finding the linking options on a Desktop/Laptop from Google Search

  1. Start at Google.com
  2. Search for your business name
  3. If you see the Knowledge Panel on the right side of the screen, You will also see a miniature map. Click onto the mini map. If you do not see the knowledge panel for your business then you might consider some local SEO services.
    search-your-business-on-google
  4. After clicking the map your screen will switch to Google Maps, your business profile card should then show up on the left hand side of screen.
    your-business-tour-on-maps
  5. Your Tour will be visible on this profile card.
  6. Click onto your Inside or Outside Tour thumbnail.
  7. The Screen will switch once more to show your virtual tour.
  8. In the upper left hand corner you will see a semi-transparent black rectangle with your business name and a date. This box contains 3 small vertical dots.
    tour-share-options
  9. After clicking the 3 dots you will find the options to share and embed the tour

Method 2: Finding the linking options on a mobile device using the Google Maps App

Google allows us to grab a shareable link to our virtual tours only. The Embed code is only available on desktop versions of Google Maps.

  1. Open the Google Maps Mobile Application
  2. Type in your business name
    google-profile-mobile
  3. Tap onto the business name and the profile card will slide upward.
  4. Scroll down a bit to find the Virtual Tour thumbnail and tap onto it
    inside-view-thumbnail
  5. The Tour will show up
    mobile-tour-3-dots-option
  6. In the upper right corner tap on the 3 Vertical Dots
  7. Choose “Share”
  8. Your phone will give you options, Choose “Copy to Clipboard”
    share-link-options

After following the simple instructions above you will be able to paste links into Social Media, Emails, Websites, etc. The embed code will allow you to be able to share your virtual tour from any place where you can embed a YouTube video while keeping it’s interactivity. If you are looking to embed into Facebook check out our upcoming post on How to embed a Street View Tour on Facebook.

Embedding Tips and Tricks

1. Before generating and coping  an embed code, position your tours angle and zoom the way you want it to show up after you embed it onto your website.

Real World Use: This was useful for a hotel when they wanted to start the tour at a particular size room. It makes navigating the tour a bit more friendly. When customers landed on the website page for a large room with 2 Queen beds they automatically saw the tour for that room because the embed code was taken for that particular position on the tour.

2. Share your Street View tour any where that will allow HTML code such as G+, Facebook, Forums, Newsletters, Online Directories, etc.