Google is now highlighting its indoor photography for businesses from search results pages, making the imagery much more visible to users.
Businesses who have been able to participate in this get the added bonus of letting customers browse their store before actually getting them in the door. Let's hope they like what they see.
Google said in a Google+ post, "Ever wonder what the inside of a business looked like before visiting? Google Search just made it easier to find Google Business Photos - which allows you to virtually walk-through a business with Google Street View-Technology. Just click the "See Inside" image on Search to enter the business and walk around as if you were there."
Google started taking photos of store interiors back in 2010, then officially announced Google Business Photos last year.
“Just as you can’t judge a book by its cover, you can’t always judge a business by its exterior,” Google said at the time. “Interior photographs are a great way to show potential customers what your business is really like. By enhancing your Place Page, business photos will help your business stand out above the competition and get discovered on Google. Millions of users will be able to visit your establishment from the comfort of their own homes, or preview it to help them decide on a visit. Best of all, it’s free!”
Of course, the Place Page concept has changed a bit over time, with the newer Google+ Local interface.
You can see the new functionality in action here.
About a month ago, Google added indoor maps to the desktop version of Google Maps after availability on Android devices. With the feature, users can view floor plans for some airports, department stores, malls, etc.