Since 2012 Google had been rolling out Google Business Photos (GBP) across selected countries around the world. Basically GBP was Google’s ubiquitous StreetView but for inside businesses: A fantastic idea but very labour intensive. This gave birth to the Google Trusted Photographer. These photographers were trained in the techniques of panosphere photography and a proprietary software package that allowed StreetView style tours of the interior of the business. As with all new products there was a bit of tweaking to get it right and today it has come of age and has been rebranded Google Maps Business View – catchy I know! But at least there is no denying what it is – a Maps product that lets you view a business.
So how does it work?
Business Views is attached to the Business’ Google+ Local Business Page. It is accessed through numerous Google digital real estate:
- The Knowledge
- Graph Maps Search
- Pegman Search
- Google+ Local Business Page
Throughout the Google digital real estate Business View is presented as “See Inside”.
In the Knowledge Graph (this is the Panel that appears on the right hand side of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) a business with Business View will have an extra tile reading “See Inside”.
Business View also has a number of additional benefits:
- The service includes 10 point of interest photographs that go to populate the photos section of the G+ Local Business Page. These photographs also populate the carousel when the business is being searched for on the new Maps.
- The photography is the property of the business – the photographer relinquishes all copyrights to the business. This is a very important distinction over Google Views which is consumer/hobbyist variant of StreetView. (this will be discussed later)
- Business Views is hosted within the businesses account not the photographers.
- Business views is stripped all personal data that may be a copyright infringement or a breach of privacy rights. Google spots checks the photographers work to ensure high standards are maintained and if the standards Google can request for the photographer to return and reshoot the work.
- Within the Business Views programme once the photography is complete there are no mandatory re-shoots, on-going costs or maintenance fees.
- The photography is free for the business to use in any way the business chooses (as long as the business adheres to Google’s terms of its Maps API)
- Business View can be embedded into the businesses Facebook page or into their website, or any domain that support html iframes.