QUESTION: Does stock photography hurt your page rank? No.
Since the goal of your SEO strategy should be to get your website to Positions 1-5 on Google for as many keyword searches as possible, it is important to know that your site’s images are extremely important. While Google’s John Mueller is quoted as saying that using stock photography doesn’t effect your site’s page rank directly, he goes on further to say that there is a potential effect on conversions by users if your site is using stock photography. (See 1 below.)
Even though adding unique photos of your moving business can take some planning and be a chore, you now can see it is very important. Even the “hero image” on a site as robust as All My Sons features a stock image of a little boy on the home page. We see other movers using that image, diluting its effectiveness in the long run.
The important point here is to get your cell phone out and take some photos. Always use the “landscape” format as that sizing is what will generally work on your site, and the more unique images of your business the better.
If you think your site is BEAUTIFUL and it ranks in Positions 20-30 (page 3), this could be one reason why. Always balance “form” with “function” or pay the price on Google search.
Onward and upward!