While putting together my local search presentation for ad:tech next week, I came across something I’d not seen before: Google is auto-filling local business profiles with photos and videos pulled in from other web sites. Have a look at this example:
On some profiles, I also saw YouTube videos being pulled into a local business profile. David Mihm says he thinks he saw this for the first time about a month ago. I only saw it on restaurant profiles, but I wasn’t looking at other types while working on my presentation.
What’s interesting about this is that some of those images in the example above look like stock photography — the Cityvoter.com images, in particular. I don’t think they are stock photos, but they have that look to them. It seems possible that Google may pull in some incorrect or inappropriate images. Ergo, there’s a link to report inappropriate photos right on the business profile.
Aside from inappropriate photos, another possible problem is this:
Google is creating its own duplicate content problem. I suspect this might be somewhat common with images getting re-used across so many web sites.
Anyway, the message for local businesses is pretty clear, isn’t it? If you don’t optimize your profiles, Google’s gonna do it for you.