Many people when they are wanting a website or to refresh the site, they just do a search on Google for images to use. However, did you know that you are not actually allowed to use just any picture you find? Many people have unfortunately fallen victim to the thought that, “If it’s on the internet than it is okay to use.” What they don’t realize is that most photos on the internet are copyrighted and are illegal to use. Think of it like plagiarism, you must have unique, quality content and images on your website. If these images are used and put onto a website, the user can easily end up with a letter in the mail stating that they have used an image illegally and that they not only have to remove the photo but pay a pretty big fine. The other thing that this can do is hurt your website’s rankings. Google can actually give your domain a penalty for using images illegally. When you hire a professional to do your website, they will already know this and will be sure to use images that won’t hurt your website
What Images Can You Use?
There are photos that you are allowed to use on the internet if you do not have your own photos. Your own images are seen as the best in Google’s algorithms, however, there are stock images from a variety of sites that you can make a free account with. When you have an account with these sites, you are able to download them and then alter them to make them more unique. You do not want to use a photo you download ‘as is’ or Google may recognize the image from another site and penalize your site because of it. Editing images is very important for this reason.
You may have to have a few accounts with different stock image sites to be able to find all the ones that you are looking for. However, if you are not wanting to bother with the process or the cost, a professional web developer will already have accounts and know how to edit the photos to suit your site.
There are a few images for some searches that are on Google that you are allowed to use, however, it isn’t really the best option. For example, if you were looking for pictures of computers on Google, you would first type in the search bar computers, then choose images so it takes you to just images. At the top under the search bar there are options, one is called tools. You can click on that and a drop menu will drop down. Now choose usage rights and click on labeled for reuse with modification (again, remember that any photo you do use if it is not your own photo needs to be edited in some way). When you click on that it will take out any photos that are potentially able to be copied, edited and used by others as no copyright was found.
It is still best to use photos that you know for sure you are allowed to use though. Whether those images are from sites like Pixaby, Shutterstock or Pexels, be sure to edit them to make them just a bit different than the original. What is even better of course is your own pictures you have taken.
Another great resource is Unsplash, where you can get free stock photos for commercial purpose.
Labelled with reuse and modification, Unsplash is the world’s most generous community of photographers. If you’re looking for the right images for your brand or website, Unsplash brings you a huge variety of excellent 100% free stock images. You only just have to type the right keywords in the search bar and Unsplash will display an amazing an (and freshly updated) list of photo resources you can use for your website or brand. You are welcome! Lots of designers like Awesome Web Designs recommend you using these free stock photos for commercial purposes.
If you are in need of help designing your website, be sure to ask a professional like Promark Business Solutions. They will be sure to use images that do not have copyright issues and will encourage you to provide your own photos to be sure that your website is as optimized as possible.