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Google starts displaying licensing details for image results

Google starts displaying licensing details for image results

Google has now integrated a new feature to its Google search image results that will make it easier for users to find images that you can use legally. This new feature allows you to view licensing details for image results, and based on the details, you can either use the image freely or buy the image from the owner.

This feature will let you know if the publisher or creator has provided any licensing information to the image. If you click on the image for a close-up view, then you will also be able to view its copyright and creator. In addition, if the creator has provided information to Google on how to purchase the image, then you will get a link to the stock photo site or any other source where you can pay for it.

Licensing details for image results

The Licensing details for image results is of two types:

  • Creative common licenses
  • Commercial and other licenses

The images under Creative common licenses are images that can be used for free under attribution. If the image is under Commercial and other licenses, then you need to purchase that image before using it.

If you want to find other images besides results from Google, here are Top 11 Sites To Find Royalty Free Images Online.

Google designed and rolled out these new licensing features by teaming up with image creators and stock photo providers.


“We live in a dynamic and changing media landscape where imagery is an integral component of online storytelling and communication for more and more people. This means that it is crucial that people understand the importance of licensing their images from proper sources for their own protection, and to ensure the investment required to create these images continues. We are hopeful Google’s approach will bring more visibility to the intrinsic value of licensed images and the rights required to use them.”

 Ken Mainardis, SVP for Getty Images & iStock by Getty Images

Also read: How to do a reverse image search?

By default, Google search results show images from both types of licensing details for image results. Sometimes, you may not want to use pictures that you want to buy or sometimes you want to buy pictures. Depending on what you want to use, you can actually filter the images so that you can view the images based on their licensing information.

filter licensing details for image results

How to filter images by its licensing information?

Step 1: On your google search, search for an item and go to images section.

Step 2: Then, click on the Tools section just below the search section besides Settings.

Step 3: After that, go to Usage Rights and choose the licensing type that you want to view.

Google has been constantly working on improving the user experience. They are working to make the image search results more richer and informative. Recently, they have also began marking the images with icons so that it can inform the user whether the image link to pages with products for sale, to pages with recipes or to video content. And now, licensing details for image results is another step towards improving the user experience.

What do you think of the licensing details for image results? Do you think it will be useful? Leave your comments below on the comment section.

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Robin Gurung

Robin is a BSc. CSIT graduate, interested in tech and digital marketing. His hobbies includes watching movies and traveling.