In an effort to improve local search and its Places pages, Google announced a project six months ago, in which it would supply interested business around the United States, Australia, and Japan with photographers that would take high-quality photographs of their businesses. Since that time business in over 30 cities have participated and today Google announced their plan for these photographs. Users that search for any of the participating establishments will be able to view these pictures. This feature can be very useful as they include layouts, storefronts, merchandise, signs, and other details about a particular place that people interested in visiting it would find very handy.
Personally, I love being able to get familiar with a place before actually visiting it. I like knowing that it has what I am looking for, surrounding landmarks and what the building looks like in detail; especially if it is the first time that I will be visiting said establishment. And for some things, like restaurants, it may not necessarily be a matter of menu options for some people, but the eateries ambiance as a whole can play an important factor when it comes to choosing a place to dine. I am sure these photographs will serve a very important role in Google’s Places pages and hopefully more and more businesses will want to get involved.
Allowing for more virtual interaction by customers is a smart move for business owners to make. Making a potential customer feel comfortable with your establishment before they even get there could be the difference developing new clientele or losing them to other, more socially involved businesses.