Google Image Search Enables Users to Find Images by Usage Rights

Are you searching for a unique image that you can legally use on your website? Well, Google has finally introduced an image search option that allows you to do so.  Now when users go to Google Image searches, you will find an added option under the search tools for “Usage rights”. This unique feature allows users to sort images by licensing rights under “Search Tools”. This is a convenient option for webmasters and other users to find pictures or images that they can safely use as online content.

The feature has been available since 2009. But the news of this feature being added to the main filter option on Google search tools was recently announced by Google’s head of search spam Matt Cutts on Twitter. Earlier, this feature was available under the “Advanced Image Search Page” and due to that, inaccessible to users.  In fact, many users might not even have noticed the availability of such a feature.

To access this feature, simply click or run the search page on the image results page. Along with the usual search options like size, type, color, time, a new option – “Usage Rights” – will appear. That list offers 5 different options – Not filtered by license, Labeled for reuse, Labeled for commercial reuse, Labeled for reuse with modification, and Labeled for commercial reuse with modification.

The default option is set as “Not filtered by license”, but it is possible for users to choose their favorite options and the page refreshes to include only those specific images. The images are licensed by Creative Commons or GNU Free Documentation or these are typical images in the public domain. Users get detailed information about the licensing and usage option from the “Google Help page”.

Website such as Flickr had long back introduced similar image filtering option in their search results. In July 2013, Microsoft’s Bing also had added this filter image search results through usage rights. Hence, it’s quite surprising that Google has introduced this feature so late. Moreover, you have to be cautious when using these images as they might have been taken from a source that actually does not permit reuse.  So one does wonder why Google has announced this feature that gives searchers the impression that they can legally use images when they actually may not be allowed to do so.

Choosing the right kind of image is extremely important for any website. Once an image is selected for your website posts, it is important to optimize images for SEO (search engine optimization) to improve search ranking for your content.

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