Why Is Using Google Images a Bad Idea?
If you’ve been publishing content online, whether a website, a blog, email, or social media posts, you’ve probably heard that it’s not OK to just reuse photos or graphics you find using Google Images. And, in general, that’s true. When you do a simple search on Google, you’re likely to get many search results that contain copyrighted images. Using copyrighted images is illegal, and that’s why we’re told to avoid grabbing files found on Google Images.
But There IS a Legal Way to Find Pictures in Goodle Images
If you do the search the right way, you can find pictures in Google Images you are allowed to use on your site, blog, or social media accounts. You need to do an Advanced Search and select the correct type of licensing to find acceptable images to reuse.
How To Find Pictures You Can Use in Google Images
- Go to Google.
- Click on “Images” at the upper right.
- Enter your keywords and search for images.
- DON’T REUSE ANY OF THESE IMAGES!
- At the right of the search results screen, click on the little gear icon for the Settings menu.
- Click on “Advanced search”.
- Your keyword(s) will appear in the first field. Scroll down to the last field.
- Pull down the “Usage Rights” menu and make the appropriate choice based on how you intend to use the image. If you run a business, you’ll probably want to choose either “free to use or share, even commercially” or “free to use, share or modify, even commercially”.
- Click on the “Advanced Search” button.
Now you have a set of images you may choose from and use as you please.
Even though I use this method to find images, I also still use stock photo sites, some free and some paid.
Free Stock Photo Sites
If you use a free stock photo site, check the rules. Sometimes you must display a credit with the photo.
The first paid stock photo site I used was http://www.istockphoto.com, but their prices went up quite a bit a few years ago, so now I use some other ones.
Paid Stock Photo Sites
Make sure you have the right to use the images you use for your business!