Make Sure Online Images are Safe for Use

In my Writing Content for the Web class, we discussed the use of images on websites. There was much talk on copyright issues and how it is generally better to use one’s own photography as opposed to content found online (there are several usage rights and copyrights involved). Well, if you’re a web developer without a camera — which you absolutely should have –, or just simply can’t generate the image you want yourself, here is a way to be absolutely sure an image is safe for you to use.

Google what you’re looking for

I’m sure many of the other popular search engines have similar features to the ones I will be talking about, but I use Google for all searches. Anyway, say you’re looking for an image of a sunset. Type ‘sunset’ in on Google, as you would normally. All the results that are displayed are both images you can’t use, along with ones you’re legally allowed to.

At the bottom…

…of the page (you may have to do some scrolling) there is a link that says ‘Switch to Basic Version’. Click that link. It takes you to the Google of 2005, the way the image page used to look. At the top of that page, under the search bar, there is a link for ‘Advanced Search’. Click that link.

Advanced Image Search

That is the heading you should now see. You can modify keywords, search by size, type, color, aspect ratio — you name it. But the one we’re after is the ‘usage rights’ at the bottom. If you click the drop down box, you’ll be able to select from different usage rights options. The one you want is ‘labeled for reuse’; after you’ve selected that, click the ‘Advanced Search’ button at the bottom, and you’ll be directed to a page containing only images you’re allowed to use legally. Enjoy your sunset pictures!

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