On 16th February 2018, Google made a huge change to its search options by declaring that the ‘view image’ button will be discarded. On clicking the view image button, the user was able to open the image alone with no compulsion of visiting the site, the image was posted on.
A tweet from Google on 16th of his month revealed the Google latest update that will be incorporated. The tweet read: “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 web pages they’re on.”
The change is an impact of Google’s agreement with Getty Images. There has been a conflict with respect to the image copyrights among competitors. This aroused the need to secure images and hence the step was taken. Google has been claimed to be supporting image piracy with its option to search image bypassing the webpage it is actually placed on. This means that the user who wants to use the image has to first visit the site which originally has the image, scroll through the website and then find the image. Saving the image and downloading the images has become a lengthy process. The websites who do not wish to share their images can disable the option to save the images on their website. This will safeguard the images and preserve the copyrights.
Along with the ‘View image’ button, Google has also removed the ‘search by image’ button. Users mostly used this option to find unwatermarked versions of an image and use them for their personal purpose. Although the ‘search by image’ option is disabled, the option for reverse image search still remains. You can drag the image in the search box and easily get related images. Hence it can be said that this change is not very drastic.
It is clear that Google has taken this step taken as a response to the complaints that photographers and publishers had. The image copyright holders often felt that it was unfair on their part that their property is being used by someone else without their consent.
The news has had varying effects. Photographers and publishers are evidently happy since they will get their due recognition and their copyrights will be reserved. There is a wave of happiness in website owners and publishers also, as the image the user is surfing will be obtained directly on their site, increasing traffic and clicks on their website.
On the other hand, a common user loses the experience of multiple image search. To use/download high-resolution images for free or even surfing images for ideas will have additional steps will annoy the user until the user adapts to the latest update.
There will also be an effect on the digital marketing solution strategies, as the image search will land up directly on the website where the image is put. Digital marketers can tap and explore this opportunity by coming up with new strategies and reworking on their plans.
Although a lot of speculations are being made on the effect of this step would have on the users and copyright holders, Google says that they have designed the changes to create a balance between both,