* updated on Jan 23, 2023
As long as I can recall, whenever you are optimizing a Google Business Profile (GBP) – formerly Google My Business – business profile, one of the most annoying “features” is updating the logo/cover photo. Usually, you upload what you like..most of the time it is your brand’s logo.
This was the process for changing your logo/cover photo.
However, Google has other ideas. You see Google decides ultimately what the best photo is, they make this decision based on a few factors. One is the total number of views. This is an insanely dumb metric used to decide how your brand is best presented for a few reasons.
- Older photos almost always have more views.
- Photos that are off-brand will surface more often, getting more views.
- High-quality images have a higher preference.
- When Google changes(tests) the photos more views are registered.
Looking at the guidelines, we can get a good hint at why they may choose an image that is off-brand.
According to the GBP guidelines for photos, your photos look best on Google if they meet the following standards:
- Format: JPG or PNG.
- Size: Between 10 KB and 5 MB.
- Recommended resolution: 720 px tall, 720 px wide.
- Minimum resolution: 250 px tall, 250 px wide.
- Quality: The photo should be in focus and well-lit, and have no significant alterations or excessive use of filters. In other words, the image should represent reality.
So for the most part, anyone who is involved in GBP Optimization has had to grin and bear it, there really was no other choice, except to delete the offending image and hope your logo sticks.
Not only is this frustrating to agencies who have to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ when clients ask why the logo has not been changed. But merchants are just as frustrated. Here are just a few threads… one, two, three, four.
In one of these examples, Google’s answer is this… “Google actually has the final word on which image to display as your primary listing photo. Adding high-quality interior/exterior shots of your business can help make sure they show one of your images ( tends to not use logos ). However, you don’t have direct control over the element.”
Is there a solution?
With Google’s change to the new NMX dashboard, the work-around of adding your cover photo to the google website tab is no longer an option. There are some things you can do to help your success rate at getting google to use the photo you want as your cover photo. Make sure it is the correct dimentions as listed above. If you use your logo, make it small on the image and in a corner, i.e top right. Make sure the photo is clear, and relevant to your business and does not contain any elements that could be considered spamming.