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Google+ Profile Picture and Cover Photo Size Guide

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Google+ Profile Picture and Cover Photo Size Guide

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BY DAVID COLEMAN
LAST UPDATED 2 MONTHS AGO

Google+ has a lot going for it as a place to share and show

5 COMMENTS

FILED UNDER: CUSTOM POST HEADERS, SOCIAL


MEDIA TAGGED WITH: GOOGLE

photos. It has nowhere near the active user base of Facebook,


but it has more photographer-friendly features.
When using images of your Google+ profile page, the image

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Google+ Profile Picture and Cover Photo Size Guide

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http://havecamerawilltravel.com/photographer/google-plus-cover-photo

sizes are generally more logical than the mishmash of image


sizes that is a Facebook Page. But there are still some sizes to
know and tricks to getting the images to look their best.

The cover photo is the large one at the top. Its displayed at an
aspect ratio thats basically 16:9, the same as the HD video
standard. On desktop screen sizes, your image is displayed at
right. At left is an automatically semi-transparent overlay under
your profile picture.
Because Google+ uses a responsive layout that adjusts for
different-sized screens, the actual size that its displayed at
varies quite a bit. The largest your image displays at is 1080 x
608.
The semi-transparent part at left also resizes, and it duplicates
part of your image.

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Google+ Profile Picture and Cover Photo Size Guide

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The ideal size for the image you upload is 1080 x 608 (aspect
ratio of 135:76, which is very close to 16:9). The smallest
image you can use is 480 x 270 (aspect ratio of 16:9). The
largest image you can use is 2120 by 1192.
As you reduce the width of the browser window, the cover
photo scales accordingly, until at a certain point when you
make the browser very narrow (as it is on a smartphone), the
layout switches to a different mobile-friendly layout, like this:

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Google+ Profile Picture and Cover Photo Size Guide

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Like the other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter,
Google+ applies some pretty heavy JPEG compression to the
cover photo that reduces the image quality, can make text
blurry, and tends to make colors less vibrant.
But theres a solution. Rather than upload a JPG, upload a

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Google+ Profile Picture and Cover Photo Size Guide

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PNG-24 image. Those arent converted to JPEG. They get


some PNG optimization applied, but it will stay as PNG.
Be aware, though, that a PNG-24 creates a much larger file
than a heavily compressed JPG image. So its going to be that
much slower for your userss browser to open the page. Its
also possible that Google could close this little loophole at any
point.

Google Plus uses a round profile picture. On your profile page,


its shown as a circle with a 120px diameter.

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Google+ Profile Picture and Cover Photo Size Guide

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http://havecamerawilltravel.com/photographer/google-plus-cover-photo

While theres nothing stopping you from using any image for
your profile picture (as long as it doesnt violate Googles terms
of service), Google recommends that you use a good,
recognizable headshot. And there might be good reasons to
heed that advice. It does seem to make a difference in whether
or not Google shows your profile picture in search results if you
have authorship links properly set up.

Google was, for a time, showing thumbnails in search results if


you set up what is known as authorship links. But that little
experiment has ended.

When a link thumbnail displays at full-width, it displays at 426 x


255. The jagged edge overlay at the bottom is applied

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Google+ Profile Picture and Cover Photo Size Guide

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automaticallytheres no way to remove it.

But not every link you post will include a full-width thumbnails.

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Google+ Profile Picture and Cover Photo Size Guide

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http://havecamerawilltravel.com/photographer/google-plus-cover-photo

Theres a list of requirements that the post youre linking to has


to meet before that happens. Criteria includes that the page
has photos meeting minimum width and height requirements
(506px and 303px), a maximum ratio, as well as that the page
(or site) is set up to include various tags in its code. You can
find further details here.
If those requirements arent met and yet theres still an image
on the page that can be used for a thumbnail, its fit within a
box 120px by 120px, like so:

If theres no image in the post, the link box will just contain text.

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Google+ Profile Picture and Cover Photo Size Guide

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Its not clear to me how Google chooses the initial image to


suggestits not necessarily the featured image if youre using
WordPress, and it doesnt seem to necessarily be the images
tagged in the Open Graph code. When posting and editing you
will oftenbut not alwaysget the option to scroll through some
thumbnail choices when you post the link. To access that, roll
over the thumbnail image in the upload dialog. If arrows appear
over the top left of the image, use them to change the
thumbnail.

The layout that Google+ uses is responsive, which means it will


adjust to the viewers screen size. On wide displays, like a
27-inch desktop display, it will put up to three columns across,
like this:

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http://havecamerawilltravel.com/photographer/google-plus-cover-photo

On something like a 15-inch laptop display, it might be only two


columns across, like this:

And on a narrow display, like a smartphone or even just a


narrowed browser window, itll go to a single column and the
cover photo layout switches, like this:

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Google+ Profile Picture and Cover Photo Size Guide

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http://havecamerawilltravel.com/photographer/google-plus-cover-photo

Specializing in Travel, Location, and


Time-Lapse photography. Based in
Washington DC. Traveling all over.

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Google+ Profile Picture and Cover Photo Size Guide

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Google+ Profile Picture and Cover Photo Size Guide

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J.B. Eid says


September 27, 2014 at 8:49 pm
Good info on the pictures, fyi authorship is no longer.
http://searchengineland.com/goodbye-googleauthorship-201975
Reply

David Coleman says


September 27, 2014 at 8:55 pm
Good point. Thanks. Updated.
Reply

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Tyler Bullock says


June 22, 2014 at 10:04 pm
This is incredibly comprehensive. I was about to make
my Profile Cover 829553! I am trying to get the hang
of Google+ for SEO, but in terms of driving actual
conversions I dont really see the point unless youre
selling something to other markters or bloggers. The
majority of people actually engaging on Google+ are
just doing it because its the 2nd highest ranking
factor in 2014. Even though thats a correlation not
causation issues.
Anyway sorry, rant over thanks for the awesome post!
Reply

SusanW says
May 26, 2014 at 10:45 am
Excellent piece on the Google+ Cover photo/image and

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making others aware that Google has made it


responsive. Your input on using PNG is good too. We
provide Google+ training, how to setup and use your
profile, page or both. Most people and businesses want
a nice cover photo some attempt to do it and other
outsource the task.
Google+ guidelines are important along with what the
cover image should convey to others. I belong to the
Plus Your Business Community on Google+ and asked
about guidelines on the cover photo; whether or not you
can add your phone number, website address, or list a
couple of your services. They came back and said it
was OK, that theres no violation on Googles Policy to
do this. What do you think it is better to have your
cover photo/image be simple and not look like an
advertisement? I like your cover photos because you
simply put your business, slogan and website.
The cover photo also adjusts when someone hovers
over a person or business name when they post
something. As you hover over their name the cover
photo appears with the profile photo on the center of
the photo or image and below is their contact details.

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They call it the Hover Card in Google+ land : ).


Heres the link to Google+ Policies
http://www.google.com/+/policy/pagesterm.html
Oh, and thats me you used in the Google Authorship
example, thank you. It goes to show how important it is
to have a Google+ Profile so that you can setup
authorship which has been working well for me. How to
and informational blog posts such as this one that you
have done are the ones that Google seems to be
displaying in the searches.
Reply

David Coleman says


May 26, 2014 at 11:02 am
Hi Susan. Thanks for your note! Ive not seen
anything in Googles terms of service about not
including textual contact information in the profile
pic. My interpretation is that so long as it isnt
misleading, offensive, or obviously spammy there

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should be no problem. But Im glad to hear the


results of your inquiries to Google about it.
Facebook used to explicitly frown on it, but it seems
they might have quietly dropped that restriction.
And after reading a number of guides to setting up
Google Authorship I found yours to be the one that
worked best for me. So of course happy to link to it
and I expect others will find it very useful too.
Reply

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Google+ Profile Picture and Cover Photo Size Guide

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Specializing in Travel and Time-Lapse


photography. Based in Washington DC.

http://havecamerawilltravel.com/photographer/google-plus-cover-photo

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