Google has now updated the image search to allow you to search for images that are free to use on your blog. The images search results can now show images that have been tagged with the Creative Commons license and it is also capable of returning content under other licenses such as the GNU Free document license.
To get this feature when you are searching go to the Advanced Image Search page then under the usage rights section you will see a drop down with different types of license that you can search for.
When I tested it out I chose to search for images that were labeled for commercial reuse. Once I had typed in my search terms it then showed me a page with a label at the top:
Then under that was the normal image results, but now you know that the images are fine to use on your blog. However Google does state:
“You’ll still have to verify that the licensing information is accurate We can help you take the first step towards finding these images, but we can’t guarantee that the content we linked to is actually in the public domain, or available under the license”
Better safe than sorry
While this is going to be very useful, you will need to be careful when using this feature. Just make sure you double check that the image does have such a license (just in case).
You won’t be able to blame Google for using an image you shouldn’t have on your blog.
Don’t for forget those not on broadband
While we are on the topic of images, I wanted to point out that, for many accessing the web is simply turning on your computer and selecting your browser, but that is not the case for everyone. Some countries are still behind on Internet access and I am not just talking 3rd world countries, for example New Zealand is not quite up to the same speeds as other countries. They do have broadband but it is not as wide spread as it is in America or the UK.
Think about this when you are putting up images on your blog or website, I quite often come across some very nice images that are huge in file size and even on broadband they take a few seconds to download, imagine being on dial-up and waiting for the page to download let alone the massive image. We also have to think about users visiting your site from a mobile phone as again they don’t want to be waiting around. If they are not on a large or unlimited plan for their data they download then they don’t want your site to eat up all their data allowance.