As we mentioned in our previous blog, we’ve recently undertaken a 360° virtual tour of our offices here at Ourworx. This is on our Google My Business Page.
It seems like a good thing to have, and there’s plenty of ambassadors out there who pour praise on its effectiveness. But we want to test it ourselves, to see if it influences our search rankings.
Whilst we’re in the process of collating results, it’s interesting to see what the general opinions are about the value, or otherwise, of adding Google Business View to your Google My Business Page.
What is Google Business View?
Based on Google Street View, Google’s Business View gives searchers an inside view of your business. The idea is that, instead of just seeing a shop front or generic office facade, you can now do a virtual walk in and see what the business you’re interested in looks like on the inside.
The difference from Google Street View is that there is no special car doing the photographs. Instead, to get all those cool looking 360° images, you must hire a trusted photographer or agency – it’s not something you can just do yourself.
Google Business View Reviews
The Google Business Photos program has been around for quite some time now, and there are plenty of articles from businesses who offer a virtual tour, extolling its virtues and benefits.
It’s interesting to note, though, that it hasn’t been embraced with unending enthusiasm by all the business community. In some quarters, there has been a fear that it is a bit of a gimmick and that there are factors more important for ranking than a collection of professionally taken images.
Despite this, when searching through the web for opinions, most people seem to think that Google doesn’t offer something like this without there being some benefit or reward.
The web seems to be unanimous in saying that there are definite benefits to having your business included in Google Business View. And, in theory, who wouldn’t agree? Having images of your business displayed right next to search page results should give customers a better sense who you are, and whether you are a real, trusted company.
So, it would be fair to assume it will help your click through rate. But will it help your search ranking?
To date, it there doesn’t seem to be much research on this, and Google are remarkably quiet about it. An article that appeared in Moz.com in 2013 did show that sites that ranked high in local searches and have also adopted Google Business View managed to retain their dominance. Which suggests a correlation between having Google Business View and maintaining a Google ranking.
Is this a wholly convincing reason to go for Google Business View? It certainly doesn’t mark against it. But as for definitive results for SEO, the jury is still out.
One thing we are sure about, is that Google usually looks after those who use a Google feature. Having a virtual tour may not directly boost rankings, it can increase trust, which does play a part in the local algorithm.
We want to see for ourselves
Our view, is to test it for ourselves. We want to make sure that having Google Business View attached to your search results page is going to be of material benefit to us, before we start advising to our clients.
Our Google Business View is now available. We will be testing our ranking, clicks and results to see what difference it makes – if any.
It could be a “nice to have”, but not essential. Or it could be something that manifestly helps businesses maintain their high ranking, and gives extra incentive for customers to click, learn and work with new businesses.
We will see …