Google+ Image Size: How Can I Shrink It?

Written by | Date Updated: December 11, 2014

google-plus-cover-photoQuestion: Google+ recently changed their default image size for cover photos and it’s way too big for my liking. Is there any way to adjust the size of the new Google Plus cover image for my company page? -Mike, McLean, VA

The New Google Cover Photo Image: Yikes, That’s Large!

Mike, how right you are…the new Google+ cover page photo is HUGE. In fact, the suggested dimensions are 2120 x 1192 and, in many cases, these large photos look just plain out of place and obnoxious, thus doing nothing to maximize Google+ for your business. I think, as Google tries to compete with Facebook in the social media realm, that they may have taken this notion that “social net-workers love photos” to an exaggerated extreme.

Another oddity is that the “default” view of a Google+ page does not even show the entire Google+ cover photo. Take a look at the Coca-Cola Google+ page. As you can see when you visit this page, the default landing view cuts off most of the large cover photo…you can only see the portion of the image that comprises your profile photo.

I’m not sure that Google has gotten this one right and I would not be surprised if another change was imminent in the near future. However, for now, we are talking about reducing the size of of the cover image and, fortunately Mike, there is a solution. You can reduce the size of your Google cover photo!

Reduced Google+ Cover Photo Size Example & Template

To see an example of what we are going to produce, take a look at The SEO System on Google+ right now (May 2013). As you can see on our Google+ page and in the photo below, we have an image much smaller than the original size of 2120 X 1192.


The SEO System on Google+

How did we do this?

In an article called How To Get A Smaller Google Plus Cover Photo, Gregg Gifford presents us the little work-around hacks to make our Google cover photo smaller. The quick steps are outlined below:

  1. Create a new Google+ cover photo with the size that Google+ now desires (2120 X 1192). Make a small portion of that photo the part that visitors will actually see–we will be cropping it to this size. And remember, when people visit your site, their default view will only be the portion of the photo that comprises the profile photo. The dimensions of this are roughly 2120 x 250. NOTE: You will want to keep the target width of the photo the same and the height can be whatever you desire.
  2. Click on “Change Cover” and upload this photo as the new cover photo. Be sure to choose the entire photo when Google+ prompts you with the viewable area.
  3. Click on photos and find the cover photo that you just uploaded.
  4. Crop the photo to the desired size and, remember, keep the width at 2120 but the height can be changed to whatever you would like.
  5. Make sure that you click the save and replace buttons to ensure that your new cropped version of the photo is now going to be your new cover photo.

The Google Cover Image: Should You Bother?

As mentioned above, the new Google cover photo does not show up by default when a user accesses your Google+ page. This begs the question: Should you bother creating the perfect Google+ cover image?

At The SEO System, many of our small business SEO and social media customers simply don’t the resources to employ a full time graphic artist and coming up with different, compelling photos for all social media outlets can be needlessly time consuming. And, if that image does not even show up most of the time, it may not be worth the effort.

In that case, you may just want to create a simple, colored background and then crop the size (to 2120 x 250) using the instructions above. If you would like a blank, dark blue image for your Google+ cover photo, here you go (right click to Open in New Window and Save.)

Tired of endlessly learning new SEO and Social Media techniques? Take a trial of The SEO System…we tell you exactly what to do everyday to succeed online.

Richard Cummings

Director of SEO, Social Media, and Web Content Development at The SEO System
Richard Cummings has been practicing online marketing for many years and has setup and optimized hundreds of WordPress sites.He founded The SEO System to provide SEO, social media, and online marketing services and software to businesses.
Richard CummingsGoogle+ Image Size: How Can I Shrink It?