Google Removes ‘View Image’ Button from Google Image Search (and what you can do about it)

Google has eliminated the ‘View image” button from its image search results and is making copyright notices more noticeable in an effort to prevent copyright infringement.

If you looked at an image in Google image search in the last few days and noticed the ‘View image’ button was missing, it’s not just you.
As part of a settlement with Getty Images, Google removed the ‘View image’ button and ‘Search by image’ option when looking at an individual image in Google image search results. This removes the option to take a look at an image without visiting the site where the image is hosted. With the new changes, when you’re looking at an individual image the available options are ‘Visit’ and ‘Share’. Visit will take you to the site where the original image is hosted.

While the change is good for photographers and publishers (it directs traffic to websites and can decrease copyright infringement), it adds a few steps to be able to view an image. In addition to visiting the website where the image is, you may have to scroll through the site to find the image, or the image you want may no longer be on the website. Taking away the ‘Search by image’ option makes it harder to track down attribution for an image and more difficult to have an image taken down for any reason.

There are ways around this of course – you can drag and drop the image to a folder or desktop, and right clicking the image and choosing ‘Open image in new tab’ or ‘Save image as’ (or whatever the equivalent is in the browser you use) will download the image to your computer. While Google is a very good search engine with many features, you can also opt for another search engine. Duckduckgo is my favorite (see the write up by Robert on Duckduckgo here) and my second choice¬† is StartPage. Both Duckduckgo and StartPage are secure and support anonymous browsing. Both have an image search feature.

If you’d like to stay with Google image search, you’re in luck – there are add-ons/extensions for Firefox and Chrome that add back the ‘View image’ button in Google image search.
You can find them at the Make Google Image Search Great Again! at GitHub (scroll down a bit for links) or you can use these direct download links:
(these work for me in Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Vivaldi – to use Chrome extensions in Opera, read here)

If you’re a little more on the tech side of things, there’s also a Userscript that will do the same thing for Greasemonkey/Tampermonkey – the link is at the Make Google Image Search Great Again! page at GitHub, or you can use this direct link:

(Note: while there are many public domain and copyright free images on the internet, do check usage rights before you use them – no one likes their images to be pirated or used without attribution or permission)

(via PetaPixel)


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