UPDATE: Using Google Images Without License Can Charge You Big!

UPDATE: Using Google Images Without License Can Charge You Big!

A few days back, Google Images changed the entire image licensing scenario. And, Google says it’ll be helpful for users to find images in a more responsible way. So, what is the new feature? 

Google rolled out an update to Google Images which makes it easier to license photographs and pictures that are covered by copyright. 

The features benefit photographers as well as the publishers, blog writers, and others who use the images directly from Google images for their articles. How?

  1. For photographers, this feature benefits them to identify photos that can be licensed and how to get their photographs or pictures properly licensed. 
  2. For publishers, it will help them filter out the pictures or photographs they can use under the license filter. It will help the users find images that they have the right to use. 

update to Google Images
This is how the filter ‘Usage Rights’ looks like now. There are divided into two - Creative Commons Licenses an Commercial and other Licenses, where -

  • Creative Commons Licenses gives everyone whether individual creators or the large institutions a standardized way to give public permission to use their creative work under the copyright law. 
  • Commercial and Other Licenses is used when you want content for commercial use. Just select the one that includes the word ‘Commercial’. 

Also, the images with licensing information provided by the publisher will now appear in the search panel with a tag, or a badge - Licensable over the thumbnail. When you click on the image it will bring up a  link that takes you to the licensing details of the image. This is where you will be able to buy rights to it. 

The question that must have surfaced to you is Do you still need permission to use an image found in Google Image Search?

Then, yes you still need permission in order to use it. Google does not own any of the images that are provided in the search result. The usage rights are defined by the publisher, and this new filter will allow you to ask them to buy rights for publishing their material. 

Contact the owner of the image and obtain permission for usage if you want to use it publicly or professionally anywhere. 

What Does This Mean For Marketers and SEO Professionals?

  • Now SEO professionals have to adapt to creative commons licensing for building links. This way you can allow people to reuse and modify the image with a suggestion and to abide by the rules. 
  • Search engine professionals should have their fingers on point and ready as they have to start creating their own content and put Creative Commons license on it, as the image rankings are going to be hit hard now. 
  • The ‘Alt + Text’ indexing is gone now. 

This was all about the Google Licensing filter. It does open doors to endless opportunities to build links, rank the images, and find the objective being successful through this update, but it does come up with the need of content to be created and slapped with CC license. And, also it will highly affect those who have small businesses and no SEO backup.
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