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Can I use Google Images on my Blog or Website?

If you own a blog or website, chances are, you’re going to need some photos for your blog posts or for your website’s design in general.

And what better place to look for photos but Google, right? We pretty much use Google for almost every data and information we need anyway.

The answer

Unless you’ve asked for permission to use the photo, or if the photo owner clearly stated that the photos can be used freely for commercial use, then no.

Most photos that you see on Google are copyrighted. Meaning, you’re simply not allowed to use them unless the owner permits you to do so. Copying photos without the owner’s consent also falls under plagiarism, which is a serious criminal offense. You wouldn’t want to be fined once the photo owner finds out, right?

Trust me when I say that you wouldn’t want to waste time and money on a dispute over a photo. The hassle is simply not worth it.

So, what can I use instead of Google images?

Photo by Surface on Unsplash

Don’t worry. While Google might be the best place to get photos due to the huge variety of photos available for viewing, there are websites made specifically to provide photos for bloggers, or people in the creatives industry in general.

Here’s our personal picks:

While these free platforms might be a bit inferior compared to Google images, as there’s definitely a lot more variety on Google images, these are probably the best that we got. But to be honest, if you need a certain photo, chances are that these platforms will be able to provide them. They’re really not that bad compared to Google. Their images are mostly High Definition(HD) too!

If you own a blog that earns a good amount of money already though, just pay for Shutterstock. It’s going to be really worth it especially if you use a huge variety of photos.

On the other hand, if you’re just starting out with blogging and you’re not willing to invest money for stock photos, for now, stick with the free platforms and focus a lot more of your effort on content instead. The free photos will suffice for now.

What if I really need to use the photo I saw on Google?

If you really want to use an image that you saw on Google, social media sites like Facebook and Instagram, or on a certain blog post in general, try taking a look at the page and look for contact information of the writer.

You then simply send a quick message like “Hi! I’m Jeff, do you mind if I use this certain photo of yours?”

If the photo owner responded to you, then chances are, if the photo owner is kind enough, he/she will give you permission to use the photo but only if you put his/her name in the credits section.

You simply need to just link to the photo owner below the photo, like so:

Photo by Dominik Vanyi on Unsplash

See the small text linking on the photo owner’s profile and platform? Pretty simple right?

Final Thoughts.

While the chances of a photo owner finding out that you illegally used his/her photo might be quite slim, please, don’t be that kind of person.

If you personally own a blog, I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t like it either if people copied your content without your consent.

Marc Justin

Written by Marc Justin

Wannabee investor, bipolarly-determined entrepreneur, esports enthusiast, ex-Android specialist turned Apple sheep, procrastination specialist.

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