Earlier this month, Google announced “Licensable” tag that would be placed on thumbnails in Google Images. The feature is now officially out, and it could help all photographers sell their work or stock photos much easier.
When you search for a photo, those that include licensing information have a “Licensable” badge on the thumbnail on the results page. Then, when you click on a photo and it opens in the image viewer, Google shows more details. There’s a link to the license details and/or terms page provided by the content owner or licensor. “If available, we’ll also show an additional link that directs users to a page from the content owner or licensor where the user can acquire the image,” Google writes. Here’s what it looks like:
In addition, Google is also making it easier to find photos with licensing metadata. The usage rights drop-down menu in Google Images now lets you choose between Creative Commons, commercial and other licenses when searching for photos. Here’s a preview:
So, as a photographer, what do you get from this new feature? First, it will make it much easier for users to buy or license your images from a stock site or your website, for example. Then, if your photo is on a page where your photos can’t be bought (e.g. a portfolio, article, or gallery page), you can add another link that takes the user to the page where they can buy or license the image. Finally, the metadata can also be applied by publishers who have bought your images. This makes your licensing details visible with your images when they’re used by your customers.
Keep in mind that there are some steps you need to take to prepare your photos for the new feature. You can visit the Google developer help page and FAQs page for more information, and Google shares more detailed guidelines in this blog post.