Back in early 2018, Google made a change to the way we view Google images. As far as Google changes go, it was relatively small. Regardless, it made viewing Google images in full that little bit trickier. And for people who regularly use Google images, this proved to be pretty annoying.
What Did The Change Mean?
Put simply, the update changed the way we view full images in Google. If a user now wants to view a full image and download it, they have to visit the website that hosts the image. The image can often be hidden deep within the webpage and the user may have to spend time looking for it.
As I said, it’s a relatively small change, but it makes the process of sourcing images tedious. And just before we go on, we’ve got to point out that you should always be sourcing images that you know you have permission to use. Generally, the best rule of thumb is don’t source images from Google Images!
Why Did Google Make Changes To Images?
What was the reason behind this seemingly unnecessary change? Well, there have been several reasons put forward as to why Google made this change.
Apparently, Google had a lengthy, ongoing legal feud with Getty. The visual media company weren’t happy with how its images were being distributed and accessed on Google.
After a long period of time, the legal battle ended amicably, with the search giant and the world leader in visual communication forming a partnership. Which is great news, right?
Well, yes. It allowed Google (and therefore, all search users) to use Getty Images across many of its platforms and services.
However, this partnership also led to the removal of the “View Image” button. Then, as if things weren’t bad enough… Google also removed the “Search By Image” option (feigns utter shock and horror).
Aside from the legal-feud-turn-partnership with Getty, it was suggested that the change would benefit search users and publishers. How? If a user has to visit a website to view an image, it will ultimately drive traffic to that website.
So, How Do I View Full Images In Google Following The Change?
In the world of search engines, things move very fast. Shortly after Google removed the View Image and Search By Image options, Chrome and Firefox extensions were developed – much to the relief of avid Google image users!
If you miss being able to quickly and easily view Google images in full, you can download the View Image Chrome extension for your browser.
Obviously, this will only work if you use Chrome for all your search needs. Alternatively, if you prefer the Firefox browser, you can download the View Image extension here.
Additional Ways To Source Images
If you don’t fancy downloading browser extensions, or you prefer to use other browsers, such as Internet Explorer, Apple Safari or Microsoft Edge, there are other ways to source images.
For example, you may prefer to use an alternative search engine, such as Bing. The Bing search engine still features a ‘View Image’ option very similar to the one Google used to have. It’s called the ‘View Source Image’ button, and it will load the full-size image.
The Yahoo search engine, although not as popular as Bing or Google, also has a similar View Image function on Yahoo Images.
Alternatively, you could use websites that offer stock-free images. Our favourites include Unsplash, Pixabay and Pexels. Other popular sites include Shutterstock, iStock and Dreamstime.
They’re so easy to use. Most of the time you don’t even need to create an account! Simply search for the type of image you’d like to use, find the best image and download it in one of the various sizes available.
There are thousands of high-quality images available for free download. Some of the websites, such as Pixabay, even have the option to download stock-free videos!
We know that stock images often get a bad rep, but when you use the right websites, we find them to be incredibly useful. Using stock-free images will give you peace of mind as you know there’s no chance of accidentally using a copyrighted image without permission.
Of course, the best way to get images for your campaigns is to hire a great photographer to work with you to get photos that are unique to your brand and the products you sell. We work with a couple of really good photographers and can put you in touch if you need one.
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GrowTraffic is an award-winning digital marketing agency based in Lancashire and Yorkshire. We specialise in SEO and Content Marketing – but we offer a wide range of digital marketing services.