- Google has removed the ‘view image’ button on its image searches thanks in part to a partnership with Getty images.
- There are pretty easy workarounds though. You just ‘open image in new tab’ instead, install an extension, or simply use Yahoo or Bing.
You’ve probably noticed an interesting change if you’ve tried to Google for images lately. Usually, you’d have the option to view the image OR visit the site, but Google has since removed the ‘view image’ option.
Now if you want to download an image, you’ll have to visit the site and scroll down to find it. Or, right click, select “Open image in new tab” and download it from there.
The point here is that Google has now made it slightly more difficult for image thieves to take photos online. And when you combine this with certain websites that have made directly saving the image off their site impossible without accessing the source code, the interests of all of these image providers are now more protected.
This all started thanks to a stock image provider that you’ve probably seen on your internet travels, but never gave two thoughts about.
And now they’re changing the way you Google.
Getty Images filed antitrust charges against Google two years ago for their image search function. To paraphrase things, Google’s image search function monopolised site traffic, engagement and advertising away from the people who actually produced those images—people like Getty Images, and other photojournalists.
The lawsuit claims that they promoted piracy without the users even realising it.
Well, that is until Getty Images reached a settlement to enter into a “multi-year global licensing partnership”. Based on a tweet, part of this partnership includes Google dropping the ability to view the image without jumping through a few more hoops.
“For those asking, yes, these changes came about in part due to our settlement with Getty Images this week (see also https://www.theverge.com/2018/2/15/17017864/google-removes-view-image-button-from-search-results …). They are designed to strike a balance between serving user needs and publisher concerns, both stakeholders we value.”
And that’s why this is a thing now.
My button is gone, so what now?
Although Google isn’t completely rewriting its image scraping algorithm, some on the internet argue that there are a lot of images that are actually free-to-use, and there are tonnes of public domain and creative commons images out there users should still be able to download these easily.
On a side note, if you’re interested in discovering some sites that offer free images, some of them that we’ve found include:
Besides using the right click and opening the image in a new tab, there’s also an extension called “Make Google Image Search Great Again” that’ll return the “View Image” button.
Feature Image Credit: Screenshot of Google Image Search
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