Google has made it clear that it wants to get into the local ad market, and an update to Google Places may help some business partners get more foot traffic. The company has announced that users can now upload their own photos to Google Places.
Google execs explain that Places fans have previously been able to explore images of global locations, but now they will have the chance to upload photos to Places pages themselves. Google hopes these photos will help searchers better "decide if [a business with a Places page is] the right place for the occasion" they have in mind.
Brafton reported that foursquare offers users a similar option. Back in December, the geosocial service began allowing users to share photos of the places they had checked in.
As with foursquare, this Google Places photo development could serve as an extra layer of social advocacy for brands that have a Places listing. Moreover, the photos will appear in search results across Google, Google Maps and Google Earth.
Marketers should make note that a number of search engines are attempting to offer consumers more photo search options, so businesses might want to be camera-ready and offer web visitors visual content. Just yesterday, we covered Bing's announcement that it is offering a new top image search page.