Google Trusted Photography: What Is It and How Do I Use It?


Google Trusted Photography: What Is It and How Do I Use It? on by Brian Harnish

Google Trusted Photography is more than just an online reputation boost. When you take advantage of it for your website, you are hiring photographers who are trusted professionals in their chosen fields.

If you’re trying to rank on Google, having a trusted photographer work for you can help boost the credibility of your images.

Becoming a Google Trusted Photographer has benefits too. Aside from adding that air of credibility and professional confidence to your repertoire, it also means that you are added to their database of trusted professionals.

There are several attributes of Google Trusted Photographers that are better than standard photographers.

Standard photographers don’t have a Street View trusted badge. But, Google Street View Trusted Photographers can implement a trusted badge on their website.

There are other things to consider when it comes to using Google Trusted Photographers.

What Does This Mean for My Site on Google?

Google Trusted Photography not only means you have a nice, shiny new badge to add to your site, it means you also have a way to increase your website authority.

The fact that you have a link back from Google, along with having the Google Trusted Photographer branding, can help contribute to your overall authority by enhancing the links back to your site along with their brand recognition.

Adding Google Trusted Photography also adds more to your site’s credibility. Why is this the case? It’s because sites with higher credibility often have better quality images.

With Google Trusted Photography, you have the ability to add those higher quality images from photographers who are legitimate, and they have the skills to prove it.

Develop Your Site with Google Trusted Photography in Mind

The idea behind Google Trusted Photography is that it will help your site benefit from the use of Google Trusted Photographers.

Google Trusted Photography can contribute to the overall credibility of your site in the eyes of potential consumers, and it can contribute to its overall legitimacy due to the use of higher-quality images than the competition has.

What Makes a Google Trusted Photographer Better?

Aside from the obvious, having a trusted badge is a great way to help build confidence in the overall authority of your website.

If you have a link embedded in your profile, this also means a link back to your website from Google’s Trusted Photography businesses.

Google Trusted Photographers also usually have, at minimum, 50 approved and published photos on Google 360. This means that you know you’re getting a professional photographer who didn’t just put up their website yesterday evening.

Google Trusted Photographers are also featured in Google’s index of for-hire professionals for photography.

In addition, if you are a Google Trusted Photographer, you’re able to use the trusted brand assets on your site for marketing purposes.

Requirements for Google Trusted Photographers

Because of Google’s thorough and heavily vetted requirements, becoming a Google Trusted Photographer is no easy task.

It’s not like you can put up a website overnight and call it a day.

Instead, in order to fulfill the initial requirements of a minimum of 50 images, you have to meet the following criteria as outline by Google:

14 MP (megapixels) or larger (5,300 x 2,650)
2:1 image aspect ratio
No significant stitching errors
No gaps in images around the horizon
Adequate detail in light/dark areas
No distracting effects or filters
Sharpness: no motion blur and images must be in focus

Google’s Street View requirements outline all of the different attributes necessary in order to meet that 50 images requirement.

Google Trusted Photographers Are Also Held to Higher Standards in Their Content Policies

According to Google’s Trusted Photographers policies, they have a number of transparency requirements (along with several other stricter requirements for their trusted photographers).

For example, they have transparency requirements. Google requires all trusted photographers to be transparent about things like:

The Costs of Their Photography Services

Have you ever wondered why some photographers get away with not being all that up-front with their pricing, only to nail you with a massive bill at the end?

This is one thing that separates Google Trusted Photographers from the rest. Google doesn’t want their trusted photographers to engage in any shady business practices such as this one.

This means that when a trusted photographer quotes you a price, you can trust they will stick to that.

In addition to this, Google requires that every trusted photographer inform their new customers “in writing before each sale,” and “disclose the existence of all fees and costs” associated with your services on customer invoices.

Represent Your Business (And Google) Honestly

Google requires that all trusted photographers explain that they are not employed by Google. It’s important that you present yourself as an independent business entity and that you “communicate to clients Google’s limited role as a publishing service.”

Legal Compliance and Individual Responsibility

Higher legal requirements and commitments to individual responsibilities exist for Google Trusted Photographers.

You can’t always just slap a few stock photos from other photographers on your website and call it a day. For situations that require a bit more customization in their photography, such as for law firm websites, having a Google Trusted Photographer means more than just a few pretty stock photos.

Instead, you have to do things like determine ownership of imagery after you complete shooting, and guarantee that all parties are covered in the contract.

You also have to make sure that you carry the right business insurance and other applicable requirements in accordance with local laws.

What Google Photographers Cannot Do

Google Trusted Photographers are not allowed to misrepresent or hide that they’re part of the Trusted program when working with other online businesses.

They are also not allowed to alter—in any way—logos or business marks from Google Maps, Google Street View, Google, or the Google Trusted Badge. They can’t add miscellaneous graphics, stretch any images, or translate any marks into a foreign language.

They also can’t use the badges in an abusive or misleading way. Google Trusted Photographers are not allowed to give the impression that Google endorses their product over another’s.

The only thing this certification represents is someone’s skill as a panoramic photographer.

What is the SEO Benefit of Using Google Trusted Photography?

Currently, there does not appear to be a direct observable ranking benefit. Google has also stated that they don’t use trust sites such as this in their algorithm.

Our own Brian Harnish asked John about this on Twitter:

This was his response:

As a Google My Business thing, this is a separate element that doesn’t have an impact on the organic ranking algorithm.

Barry Schwartz explains:

“Google’s John Mueller confirmed yesterday in a video hangout that Google does not use the BBB, Better Business Bureaus score or reviews as well as other third-party trust sites in their ranking algorithm. So all that talk about making sure you have a good BBB score with the core updates is really completely unrelated to core search rankings.

Of course, you want to make sure your business has a good reputation when someone Googles it. But at the same time, to think Google’s search ranking algorithms use third-party scores for ranking websites is something that doesn’t make much sense. Supposedly, some SEOs were thinking Google would use these scores as part of their algorithms but John Mueller from Google confirmed yesterday that Google does not.

John said ‘we wouldn’t use something like the BBB score’ for search rankings he said.”

Using Higher-Quality Photography Is a Major Benefit of Google Trusted Photography

Using higher-quality images and providing better credibility for your site overall in the eyes of potential consumers are both reasons enough to use Google Trusted Photography.

Even though it likely won’t provide significant ranking benefits, making sure your site uses higher quality images and higher quality photography overall is important to ensuring better conversions and a better reputation among your clients as a whole.

To reach that goal, you should consider using Google Trusted Photographers for your photography needs.

If you are in need of an agency who uses Google Trusted Photographers for their clients, we highly recommend Hennessey Digital.

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