Google to Implement a “Stock” Filter to Image Search Results

By Orana Velarde 1 month ago

Believe it or not, some people still think that they can freely use an image they find on Google. The truth is that many, if not most, of the photos in Google image results, are privately owned. When someone finds an image and uses it indiscriminately, it can get them into real trouble. 

Thankfully, new and interesting things are coming for Google image search. At the latest CEPIC conference in June, Google announced a new addition to Google Image search results. They will be implementing a “stock” label to the image results of stock photography. 

This feature will be a great tool for both image creators and users. We hope it will also help detract from the unlawful use of images which are not stock photography at all. 

search laptop

How will the stock filter benefit stock creators

One of the main ideas behind the stock filter is to stop the illegal use of photos found on Google. By having the label, stock photography will be easier to recognize. It will protect the hard work of stock creators who are constantly facing the misuse of their images.

With the stock label, stock photos will be easily recognizable. Stock photo results from different companies will show up together and the user will be able to find their best choice. As you know, some stock images are shared by different companies. With the stock filter, all results will show up together and then the user can select their first option for cost and license.

How is the stock filter good for users and designers

When searching for images, creators and designers sometimes have a favorite platform where they find visuals. But sometimes, they have to search on different platforms. With the stock filter on Google, creators could tentatively find stock visuals straight from Google.

By using only one search system, creators will be able to find many more options for their designs. They will also know which images are available to use as a third party by seeing the stock label. Technically the photos without a label will be the privately owned visuals that can’t be used by other people.


What about licensing and cost?

Google hasn’t mentioned if its new stock label will include information about each image’s license or cost. These are things that the user will probably have to look for on their own. Stock companies might have to figure out ways to include prices and licensing in the results. This could technically be included in the metadata of each image so that Google search results will show that information along with the image.

Friendly reminder about why it’s important to use images legally

As I said, the implementation of a stock label in Google Image Results is great for both users and stock creators. Nevertheless, it’s still up to the users to make the right choice when selecting images. Never use a licensed image without paying for it. 

As content creators, you should most definitely have some sort of subscription with a stock photo site. That way you are always sure that the images and visuals you use are legal. Your subscription covers the license for the images you use.

In some cases, photos have different licenses according to the size downloaded and how many times it can be used. Even though a stock label will make it easy to recognize stock photos, users still have the responsibility to pay for the license they need.

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If you’re looking for free images and visuals, you can find plenty in the free collections that many stock sites have. Freepik, for example, has a filter to see only free visuals. Unsplash is all free and the Public Domain has a large collection as well.

Finally, once the stock label is implemented, there won’t be any confusion about non-stock visuals results. The majority of images that show up in results are privately owned. They are not licensed to be reused in any way. By not having a stock label, users and creators can simply stay clear of them.

Over to you

What do you think of the future stock label in Google image results? Do you think it will help both users and stock creators? We are curious to see how it will affect content creation, maybe in terms of how long it takes to source visuals. 

By Orana Velarde