Sunday, July 17, 2011

Google Images for Royalty Free Photos?

By Stephen Browne

Searching Google Images is a great way to locate very targeted photos, artwork, drawings, logos, banners, and just about any other type of graphical image you can imagine.

With Google's Advanced Image Search feature, anyone can quickly find niche images segregated by types such as faces, photos, clip art, and line drawings.

In addition, image searches based on your desired niche key words can be filtered by exact size, aspect ratio, file type, black and white vs. color, Internet site, and usage rights.

It is with this last filter that I want to draw your attention.

Most Internet users should know that there are serious copyright infringement issues that keep the public from simply copying and re-using other people's work.

Nowhere is it easier to copy and steal another's hard work than online.

Copyright does not merely protect the written word.

You see, images and photos are also copyrighted as are various mediums of artwork, banners, buttons, headers, e-covers, web designs, and on and on.

For the most part, the images you will find as a result of searching on Google Images will be copyright protected. In fact, you should assume all are.

You are forewarned that copying and re-using these images can get you in a heap of trouble!

There is an exception, however, and that is what I want to bring to your attention.

In Google Image's Advanced Search feature is a filter that allows the user to look for images with certain "Usage Rights."

I have spoken to very few people who actually know about this little gem.

By filtering for usage rights, you can ask Google to limit your image search to only images that are:

  • not filtered by license
  • labeled for reuse
  • labeled for commercial reuse
  • labeled for reuse with modification
  • labeled for commercial reuse with modification
  • Let's do a quick search for some niche images to see what we can find.

Let's say I have a new web site all about baking cookies and I want some images for the site as well as my soon-to-be-released book I'm going to title: Chocolate Chip Cookies -- 101 Best Recipes.

We go to Google Images ( ), click on the Advanced Image Search, and set the "find results" filter to "related to the exact phrase" then type in our key word phrase "chocolate chip cookies."

For our purposes here we will not filter by image size, aspect ratio, coloration, etc.

But we will filter the Usage Rights to return images that are "labeled for commercial reuse with modification."

By using this filter, we should be able to find some great images that we can crop, re-size, add text to, etc.

In other words, we can modify the image for our own commercial purposes and publish it to our web site, the new book, our advertising campaigns, etc.

The search returned 105 results. Upon reviewing the images, many are not what I would want, but there are still some great looking, very professional images that I wouldn't hesitate to reuse.

Obviously, if you are not intending to use the image commercially, you will have more search results returned (this particular search filtered with "labeled for reuse" returned 198 results).

There are a number of good royalty free image sites online that you shouldn't overlook if you need some graphical images for your projects.

Now you can add Google Images to your list even if you have commercial intent. Just be sure to use the proper Usage Rights filter depending upon how you intend to make use of the image in your project.

You need help to create and run a successful online business. Steve Browne is educated, trained, and experienced in offline and online business creation and management and he is sharing his insights and guidance freely in his new money making blog. Join his blog subscriber list today and you'll receive a free copy of "Art of Money Getting" to help you get started. No cost, no obligation, no fluff, no sweat! Click on this link now to find help for your own profitable online business.

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madhuri said...

I think it was really a great idea of having them with such a simple option.
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Anes Amrani said...

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Dean said...

Fantastic - very useful - thank you!

little_bey said...

"There are a number of good royalty free image sites online that you shouldn't overlook if you need some graphical images for your projects."

For example sxc and....

other than that a well written article

Steph said...

I had no idea that was even possible. Thanks so much for sharing. I'm currently trying to find some celebrity pictures to post on my blog, and this is a great resource. Can't thank you enough!

Elly said...

Thank you for the information. I have been submitting articles to news papers to promote my local business and am curious about the freedom to use these photos for print graphics?

Gerlen Orozco said...

Can I ask you a question? This is about the proper usage of public domain material. Is it okay to pay someone to record (audio) a public domain information but give it away for free?

The Guardian said...

As I understand it, you are free to use Public Domain images in any way you see fit. For example: you can use the Library of Congress images in your own commercial projects, including websites and printed literature without the normal hissy fit that you would receive from the image owner. As a trade off, I tend to add most of the images that I have created, back into the Public Domain, when I have used them.

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sandeep singh said...

Thank you so much this is what i was searching for, a quick question i applied same filter and got few images which are hosted on blogspot domain, can i also use them commercially like in my youtube video [ Video will be monetized ]
Please reply.