Geotagging Photos is a Local SEO Myth

It’s infuriating that many local SEOs are still telling people to geotag their Google Business Profile photos, when research has shown time and time again that IT DOES NOT WORK.

In this video, I explain why it doesn’t work, bust some myths and present a couple studies that have concluded that geotagging is a waste of time.

Video Transcript

I’ve been getting into TikTok a little bit lately, and I am ANNOYED.

So, I keep seeing all these local SEO people on TikTok shilling this advice, like “#1 local SEO hack is to geotag your images.” It’s pretty embarrassing. I see this all over YouTube as well.

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And then what ends up happening is people go on the forums and they keep asking questions like: “Hey, how do I geotag all the photos that are already uploaded?”

It’s frustrating to see how often this bad advice is being given out. We really need to set the record straight on this.

Geotagging Images is a local SEO myth

It actually comes in as the #1 Local Search Myth in the most recent Local Search Ranking Factors survey, and it’s been shown multiple times that Google strips the metadata in photos that have been uploaded to Google.

You can test this yourself. If you download any of these photos from a Google Business Profile, you’ll see that the metadata has been completely stripped.

Studies show that geotagging has no impact on rankings

However, some people argue that Google takes the data, uses it, and then strips it off to protect the public.

And to this I say, you should check out these two studies. One is from Joy Hawkins, who did this case study where they tested the influence of geotagged images on rankings.

And then there’s another great study from Tim Kahlert, where he tested this as well. And both of them found that there was absolutely no impact on rankings.

So, please, local search community, let’s band together. Whenever you see this out on the forums or on a TikTok, or on a YouTube video, leave a comment. Let them know that this actually doesn’t impact rankings.

The problem is that this myth keeps getting propagated by more and more people trying to teach others how to do local SEO. We’ve got to teach them that this has no impact on local SEO, so that we can finally kill this myth.

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Darren Shaw

Darren Shaw founded Whitespark in 2005. The company specialized in web design and development, however, Darren's passion and curiosity for all things local search led Whitespark to focus primarily on local SEO in 2010 with the launch of the Local Citation Finder, followed by the Local Rank Tracker.

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