Google Showing More Photos in The Branded One-Box


About a month ago, after deciding to stop showing images next to the Google Places results in the organic SERP, the only place they were left was on the branded one-box. They were showing up at the side of the business information. A few days ago, a major update was launched and many things on the Place page itself changed. A few days ago Mike Blumenthal noted that street view images are also showing in the branded one-box.

Today, a new interface change rolled and there are now 3 images from the Place page showing in the branded one-box.

New Google Places One-Box

These all seem to be tests for something big coming up, and one could only speculate about what it will be. However, way too many new things happened for these all to be just a coincidence. The part with the images particularly is very interesting, because it seems like Google is well aware of their importance and is pushing them more and more. Here is some short retrospection of what Google was up to regarding business images:

May 5, 2011Google officially announced Business Photos

Beginning of May, 2011Google changed the Places interface and pushed the Photos upon all other sub-sections

Beginning of June, 2011 – Google stopped showing photos in the blended search results

Middle of June, 2011 – One photo started appearing in the branded one-box

Middle of July, 2011 – Google inserted “Report inappropriate photo” option, after some abusive cases

July 21, 2011 – Google rolled an updated with numerous changes on the Places interface, added an “Upload a photo” button

End of July, 2011 – Street view images started showing up in the branded one-box

28 July, 2011 – Three business photos showing up in the branded one-box

  1. Jack B. Erhart
    Jack B. Erhart07-28-2011

    One word. Mobile!

  2. Nyagoslav Zhekov

    Hi Jack,
    Unfortunately, I don’t have the chance to observe the changes on the mobile side, as I do not possess a smart phone myself. Would you mind explaining what you mean by that. I know about the recent addition of the “Add a photo” button on the Android listing’s interface.

  3. Jo Shaer
    Jo Shaer08-03-2011

    Hey Nyagoslav

    Thanks for educating me about the Branded One Spot also. I had been wondering why some of my listings bore balloons but no letter.
    I think Jack is right, the signs are all there for a blending of the results that show on both PC and mobile screens. Keeping the experience visual and words to a minimum as well as making it easier to upload both reviews and photographs from smartphones at the time the customer is at the business rather than waiting until they get home where the momentum to comment is lost.
    I am also interested in using comments to link to the actual Places Page. I guess it’s probably no different to linking to your actual website in terms of the strategy of promoting visitor activity. And using a Google short code instead of the unmanageable url you normally get probably just adds egg to the pudding. Perhaps that will be next on Google’s list – vanity Place Page names.

    With Best Wishes

  4. Nyagoslav Zhekov
    Nyagoslav Zhekov08-03-2011

    Hi Jo,
    Thanks for stopping by. I am not really sure what you mean by using comments to link to the actual Places Page. Do you mean to link the testimonials from a business’ website to their corresponding Place Page?

  5. Jo Shaer
    Jo Shaer08-18-2011

    Hi Nyagoslav
    What I meant was that Jack had linked his comment to a short code for this Google Places page rather than to a website. I am still unsure as to how effective it is to build ‘backlinks’ to your Places Page.
    With Best Wishes

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