Before hiring a Google 360 Virtual Tour Photographer, there are a few things you should consider.
Google Has Changed The Rules
The rules have changed once again. Not only for Google Trusted Photographers, but for web surfers and the general audience as well. What in the past used to be a huge bragging point or benefit to getting a Google 360 Virtual Tour, unfortunately, it’s not such a selling point to certified Google photographers any longer.
Your knowledge graph (That area on the right of your Google search result that contains your business info, hours of operation, pictures etc) has changed once again. Before the change, Google 360 Virtual Tours would have a piece of real estate with the words boldly and clearly written “See Inside,” Now that feature is gone!
This was an incredible feature because your Google 360 Virtual Tour was very prominent and you knew almost instantly that you had taken the time and investment into having a Google 360 Virtual Tour created for your business.
Google 360 Virtual Tour “See Inside” Feature Is Gone!
Google has taken that section out from your search result business knowledge graph and has even moved your Google 360 Virtual Tour in the same section where your business photos are now at. Your Google 360 Virtual Tour is now mixed in with your other pictures.
This is crucial information for business owners who were excited about having that 360 Virtual Tour display up in their search results. And it still is, it’s just now in the same section as your still photos.
Google is forever experimenting and are unlikely to ever change that characteristic. The great thing is that there’s always a probability that they will bring it back to the front, you just never know.
Google Trusted Photographers Used To Be Exclusive
When it first was introduced, anyone who had a passion to become a Google Trusted 360 Virtual Tour Photographer had to become certified by going through a series of tests.
That is not the case anymore which is really a real tragedy for you, the consumer. Unfortunately, Google has opened its doors to the program by not just letting anyone apply, but they have also released a series of (cheap) 360° cameras to help any amateur to do the same job.
The only problem is that it doesn’t do the same job. Their cameras are not built for high quality HD panoramic photos and it shows. So the next time you are in search of a Google Certified 360 Virtual Tour for your small business, make sure to ask what type of equipment the photographer will be using.
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