Royalty Free Google Image Search Guide

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The Hidden Power Of Google

Google Images, or Google Image Search, is a more powerful and versatile tool than most people realise. Whilst the image search feature, which came about in July 2001, has improved massively in its algorithms used along with introduction of more popular features such as reverse image search, If you have a website with us, there are a whole host of features that are essential for any bloggers, webmasters, social media managers and graphic designers who may be using creating and using images in the public space, possibly for commercial purposes.

If you are one of the above then the consideration of intellectual property and copyright licensing in what you do day to day is commonplace, for the misuse of licensed intellectual property can result in some very large fines or worse. Google images have text stating that images may be subject to copyright, which we feel you can use to prevent any sort of misuse.Whilst the notice here is dim and not easily noticed, it does exist and should be taken into consideration when taking pictures straight from google images.

Luckily, Google knows that a fair few of us would find some of these images extremely useful in the content we produce and that there are websites and resource hubs out there that provide completely royalty-free images, this means the image can be used anywhere, even commercially, without any purchasing of a licence or author credit whatsoever.

Let’s say I wanted to make a blog post on our website about different kinds of race cars and I wanted the header image to be an orange race car, with full knowledge that I can use the image commercially for free without accreditation:

Search For An Image Normally

When searching for ‘racing car’ using the standard google images search settings we get lots of results with the most relevant and popular images coming up at the top, however, we are not sure of the usage rights for these images and should not risk using these images for ourselves as acquisition of a license may be necessary.This will bring up a selection of dropdowns that will allow us to refine our search without having to type the specific terms into the Google search bar.

Refine Search Settings

Below you can see how I made changes to the settings below the search bar which get revealed after selecting the ‘Tools’ button:I have decided to look for a large image, as it will be the header for the blog post I want to create, by selecting this I will only be shown results with a large image resolution. I also selected the colour of the image to be orange, this results in only images that primarily display the colour orange in my results. I have now got large images of orange racing cars in my google image search results page, which is exactly what I’m looking for! Almost.

Google Image Search Usage Rights

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, I have changed the usage rights setting to ‘labeled for reuse’ meaning that all images which appear are completely free to use and modify, both for private and commercial use. Looking for royalty free images this way is far more efficient than going to each royalty free stock image website individually. I can now take any image from these results and use them in my blog post. If you are looking for images with the intention of modifying them before publishing, then you can change the usage rights setting to ‘labeled for reuse with modification’, this may bring back even more relevant results for you as this usage rights setting also includes all images that are ‘labeled for reuse’ also.

If you are looking for images with the intention of modifying them before publishing, then you can change the usage rights setting to ‘labeled for reuse with modification’, this may bring back even more relevant results for you as this usage rights setting also includes all images that are ‘labeled for reuse’ also.

These simple but versatile search options can be applied in a variety of ways, not just for finding royalty free images, but for finding images of a certain hue, or changing the type of images displayed as exclusively photographs or even clip art images.

It is possible to go further into Google’s advanced search settings to be even more specific and technical with your search habits, but we feel this information is enough to impress those around you and really start searching with style.

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