But there’s now been a major change in the way we access pictures on the search engine. After reaching a settlement with publisher Getty Images, the handy ‘View Image’ button has been totally removed.
This means it’s harder for users to view an image and download it – instead you’ll have to click through to the page hosting the image and find it manually.
Explaining the move, Google’s public search liaison Danny Sullivan said on Twitter: “Today we’re launching some changes on Google Images to help connect users and useful websites. This will include removing the View Image button. The Visit button remains, so users can see images in the context of the webpages they’re on.
“The Search by Image button is also being removed. Reverse image search *still works* through the way most people use it, from the search bar of Google Images.”
He went on: “For those asking, yes, these changes came about in part due to our settlement with Getty Images this week. They are designed to strike a balance between serving user needs and publisher concerns, both stakeholders we value.
“Ultimately, Google Images is a way for people to discover information in cases where browsing images is a better experience than text. Having a single button that takes people to actionable information about the image is good for users, web publishers and copyright holders.”
As mentioned above, this change comes about after Getty complained to the European Commission, accusing Google of anti-competitive practices, according to the BBC.
Getty said Google’s image search made it too easy for people to take its content without paying and without permission.
As you can probably guess, there’s been some backlash to the move online.
Online writer aloys detey said: “So… Google just removed the ‘view image’ feature from the search engine. This sucks.”
Martyn Littlewood added: “Dear @Google, please give us back View Image on image results. Some websites are littered in ads or other stuff, we’d rather avoid them. Sincerely, everyone.”
But Getty are very pleased at the move. “This agreement between Getty Images and Google sets the stage for a very productive, collaborative relationship between our companies,” Dawn Airey, CEO of Getty Images, said in a statement, according to CNET.