Images play a vital role in eCommerce. 90% of customers say that a high-quality photo impacts their buying decision. Product images give your customer clear expectations of what they will get, and without them, your website will look unprofessional. But as a small business, how do you get high-quality product images like your competitors. Can you use images from Google?
Especially when you are on a low budget, sourcing images from google seems like the easiest option. After all, there are billions of professional product images readily available. But if you decide to do this, you need to be very careful because using Google Images without the right permissions is a terrible idea that could lead to legal troubles for your business.
Not all licenses are the same on Google, but there are some advanced filters that you can use to use images on Google and remain copyright compliant.
The first step when using Google images for commercial purposes is to filter the results based on their ‘usage rights’. You can do this very easily in a couple of steps.
Step 1: Select the tools option underneath the Google search bar.
Step 2: A new opinion menu will appear. From that menu, select ‘usage rights’.
Step 3: A dropdown menu will appear with a list of licensing options, and you can select the license best suited to your needs.
Licenses on Google images fall into two broad categories.
Typically, images under the creative commons license are free to use, but not all Creative Commons licenses are the same. There are a set of rules for each CC license, and you’ll need to fully understand the following terms before you even think about using images on google.
There are six different Creative Commons Licenses, and we’ve compiled a table of the requirements for each. For more details, you can visit the Creative Commons website.
Even after filtering the Google images by the license type, the rules for each photo will be very different. You will need to check the specific license for each image individually to make sure you can use it on your website.
To check what CC license an image on Google falls into, select the image on Google and click the ‘License Details’ options underneath the image title.
Clicking on ‘License Details’ will bring you to the Creative Commons website, where you’ll see the specific license type for that image.
Similar to the Creative Commons License, you will find a variety of usage rules and regulations when searching images from Google under the ‘commercial or other’ category.
Typically, most Google images found under commercial licensing will cost you money; however, some are free.
When looking for commercially licensed images, you need to ensure that you are using a trusted source. Just because an image is under commercial licensing in Google doesn’t necessarily mean that you can use it on your website. Smaller websites might have mislabeled the photos for commercial use or even stolen the image from a competitor, and you could be left liable for a copyright claim.
If you are looking for pictures for your eCommerce store, you will want to choose a site with a considerable number of photos. Another thing to consider is the pricing of these sites; some of the biggest royalty-free platforms have very affordable subscription plans for those who need a lot of images. Here are just some of your options and the licenses that go with them:
If you are already a subscriber to some of these stock image sites, you can use Google Operators to find photographs from these particular companies.
For example, if you wanted a product image for a football but only wanted results from istockphoto.com, you could use the ‘Site Operator’.
To do this, you would start with the keyword(s), in this case, ‘Football’ followed by a space and “site:istockphoto.com”. Ensure there are no spaces between the ‘site:’ and the website address.
Alternatively, you could search for images on multiple sites by using ‘OR’ between the two or more ‘sites’ you want to use.
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