Yesterday Google removed the “View Image” button from their Image Search as part of a deal with Getty Images.
Before this, you can search for any image on Google Image Search and clicking on “View Image” button would allow you to view full-size version of a photo without having to visit the page where it’s published. But over the time, this feature has caused a good deal of copyright infringement. So, Google signed a deal and the button was removed with an official announcement on Twitter.
Today we’re launching some changes on Google Images to help connect users and useful websites. This will include removing the View Image button. The Visit button remains, so users can see images in the context of the webpages they’re on. pic.twitter.com/n76KUj4ioD
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) February 15, 2018
Now, Google wants you to visit the site where the image is published. This way, the site receives traffic for the content/image they are sharing.
While do not advise using copyright images without the permission of the owner. There are times when we have to use the images under fair user policy, like using a scale down version of the image in a video or setting it up as a wallpaper. And thankfully, the Internet has already found a way to bypass the restriction. Let me show you how.
Bring back ‘View Image’ button on Google’s Image Search
1. Browser Extensions
Originally, the button was intended to allow searchers to see the full size of the image. This was useful if you were looking to reuse the image, with permission and credit to the source, on your site or elsewhere. This essentially saved time.
If you are a Chrome user, you can install chrome extension like View Image or Google Search “View Image” Button. Once installed, you will see the ‘View Image’ button back where it used to be. The ‘View Image’ extension can also bring back the ‘Search by Image’ to search Google for similar looking photographs.
Within the day of released, both the extensions got more than 10,000 downloads. However, if in future, Google tries to bring them down from the Chrome Store, try open source browser extension called “Make Google Image Search Great Again” which is hosted in Github.
If you are a Firefox user, you can use install View Image.
If you don’t want to install the addon, you could still find and use the high-resolution image anyway. It would only take a couple of extra clicks. All you have to do is right click on the image on Google Search and choose “open image in new tab“. This will open the full image in the new tab, and you can easily download it from there. But the addon makes your job easier.
2. Use Another Search Engine?
Chrome is not the only browser, nor is Google the only search engine. Startup is another search engine that was built from the ground up with privacy and security in mind.
Simply open the site in your favorite browser and conduct an image search as you would normally do. You will see the familiar view image button with a warning about privacy.
You can also use Bing, Google’s biggest competitor by Microsoft, which still offers the view image button in its search results. Bing has been known to be a better image search engine for some time now. You can also download the Bing mobile app which works like a charm.
Wrapping Up: Bring back ‘View Image’ button
The only reason photographers and image hosting sites went after Google is because it is the mother of all search engines. Most people have heard of it and use it on a daily basis.
So, what do you think about the new changes? Not so effective in my opinion.