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Google Business View is one of the new strategies businesses are now using to beat their competitors online. It enhances local SEO and boosts conversion rate as prospective clients get to virtually tour business facilities and environment. To get their businesses on the Google Business View, which is an extension of the Google Street View, business owners hire Google Trusted Photographers.
These trusted photographers are independent contractors certified by Google, given the Trust Badge, and authorised to upload 360-degree photos of businesses on Google Map, Google My Business, etc. Their works complement Google Street View, which is handled by Google staff.
If you are interested in becoming trusted, read on as this post aims to show you how to become a Google Trusted Photographer in 2018. However, before I show how to become trusted, see the benefits of becoming trusted.
Benefits of Becoming a Google Trusted Photographer
By getting certified as a Google Trusted Photographer, you open yourself to lots of job opportunities that would boost your portfolios and earn you more money. Here are some of the benefits.
- Free Hosting and Access to Google Virtual Tour Platforms
If you are just a regular virtual tour photographer, you would need to buy a storage device to store your files locally or pay for online hosting.
Either of these adds up to the cost of running your business; however, by becoming a Google Trusted Photographer, you have access to upload your images to Google virtual tour platforms such Google Maps, Street View, Google Earth, Google My Business and many more.
These platforms give you the room to showcase your works to the world; besides, it is very safe to have your work hosted on Google server, one of the most reliable and most secured serves in the world.
- Being Listed in Google’s Photographer for Hire Directory
After you have become trusted, Google would enlist your name (or business name) in its virtual tour “Photographer for Hire” directory. Google populates this directory, and it serves as a database for businesses looking to hire virtual tour photographers.
In the directory, information such as your business name (with a link to your website), location, email and number would be listed, making it easy for prospects to reach you.
- Edge Over Your Competitors
Every certification boosts your CV – and a certificate (a badge in this case) from Google is well respected. Moreover, the wonderful thing about being a Google Trusted Photographer is that, at the moment, very few photographers are trusted in Nigeria. The Google’s “Photographer for Hire” directory has only 13 trusted photographers in Nigeria.
You can see the full list of Google Trusted Photographers here. When you get to the page, change the location to Nigeria to see the 13 Google Trusted Photographers in the country. So by becoming trusted, you get a competitive advantage over other photographers that take virtual tours in your area.
How to Become a Google Trusted Photographer
Becoming a Google Trusted Photographer is very easy; it only requires you to upload at least 50 360-degree virtual tour images on Google server using the Google Street View app. You can download Android version of the app here and download for iOS here.
However, for your images to be accepted and you eventually become trusted, your images must meet some criteria put into three categorises (Image Quality, Connectivity, and Appropriateness).
Your image must:
- Be 14 MP or larger and have resolution of 5,300 x 2,650 px
- Have 2:1 image aspect ratio
- Have no significant stitching errors
- Show adequate detail in light/dark areas
- Sharp with no motion blur, in focus
- Have no distracting effects or filters
- All your connected 360 photos must maintain a clear line-of-sight
- You should try shooting at 1-meter spacing indoors and at every 3 meters outdoors
- You should extend your image capturing from inside the business environment to the street; this increases the chance of Google connecting your images in the future.
- Get the consent of the business owner
- Get the permission to capture people’s faces
- Give accurate geographic coordinates
- Not use computer to generate spaces
- Not add attribution beyond nadir area
- Not capture hateful or illegal content
If your images meet the requirements, you are half way to becoming a Google Trusted Photographer. Follow the link to downloading the Google Street View app and upload the 50 images – and wait for your Google Trusted badge.
FAQ About Becoming a Google Trusted Photographer
Many people usually ask whether there are special Google Trusted photographer camera requirements and equipment kits; some are also asking about Google Trusted Photographer salary. So I like to talk about that briefly.
As for the camera requirements and equipment kits, in as much as your camera and equipment can capture quality 360-degree images that meet the image quality criteria above, you are good to go! Google does not recommend a particular camera.
As for the Google Trusted Photographer salary, I am sorry to say that you would not be on Google’s payroll; as I have stated in the introduction of the post, Google Trusted Photographers are independent contractors. After you have become trusted, you can advertise yourself as being trusted by Google, but you get to set your salary yourself; I mean you charge your clients yourself and do the job yourself.
That is how to become a Google Trusted Photographer, get the Street View digital badge, and distinguish yourself and your work from the “untrusted photographers.”
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