An Easy, Fast, Ethical Way to Find Online Pics Using Google

design ideaGraphics. We all need them. Okay, once in a while we blog something with our own personal photos, but most of the time I need something quicker than creating images from scratch. So I look for other image sources.

You can go to a site that offers free photos, and there are a lot of good ones out there–, wikipedia, and are three I often use. But downloading from these sites takes time because these are usually larger files, and you need to search each site individually. A Google search is so much faster.

But most of those images aren’t published for anyone to use as they please. Someone else put time into making that image, and they haven’t told me it’s okay to use it. I should respect that.

I used to do a Google image search and then hover the mouse over each image. If it came from a site that I knew allowed others to use their pics, like the ones I listed above, I could use it. This was still faster than running individual searches, and that’s the method of choice I used on my blog for over a year.

Then I found out about this awesome tip. Β Google will actually allow you to filter your searches by showing only those you can reuse.

  1. First, search Google and choose Images from the menu at the top, so you won’t get a lot of articles as well. Most of us already know to do this.
  2. But there’s something else on that menu bar you need to know about as well. On the far right, you have a menu option for Search Tools. Click it.
  3. Google will give you another menu just below with several options–Size, Color, Type, Time, Usage Rights, and More Tools. Click on Usage Rights.
  4. Now you’ll get a drop-down menu. The default option will already be checked at the top–Not filtered by license. Instead, click on the third option–Labeled for reuse.

Ta-da! Now you have images that you have permission to use. If I want them for anything but a blog post, I trace them to the original web page. I wanted an image for my short story, “Unicorn,” recently, so I double-checked to make sure it really was okay and if the owner wanted attribution.

Google search with unrestricted graphic use

I hope this tip is as much help for you as it has been for me. Image searching is so much faster now. Happy blogging. πŸ™‚


Avid writer and reader of Faerie tales and noblebright fantasy.

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37 comments on “An Easy, Fast, Ethical Way to Find Online Pics Using Google
  1. Bernadette says:

    Great tips. Why don’t you share this at the Senior Salon today.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks, Cathleen! Have a fantastic day, my friend. πŸ™‚ Sharing…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so happy to learn this! Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you, Cathleen, I’ve been struggling with this for years and never came across an easy solution. You’ve explained the process and made it easy to follow. Thank you for sharing this info.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dan Antion says:

    That’s s great tip!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve been using that tip for a while and it’s really handy. Sometimes, it wipes out all the pictures I’m interested in, but it’s a good place to start. πŸ˜€ Thanks for the other options. I use pixabay almost exclusively because the search function is so easy, but I’ll try the others too!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is of great value to me. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Annika Perry says:

    Cathleen, thank you for sharing this – I had no idea and will use it from now. So much simpler and feel happier that I’m doing the right thing too. Great tip!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ann Coleman says:

    This is incredibly helpful information to have! Thank you! (And now I can stop including random photos of palm trees that I took on vacation in my posts!)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Kim Gorman says:

    Thanks for the tip! I had no idea.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. willowdot21 says:

    Thanks that is a great tip!!😊

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Elliesofia says:

    Thank you, Cathleen. That is a good tip. I hadn’t thought of that before. Very helpful, thanks x

    Liked by 1 person

  13. You’re very welcome, willow and Ellie. Feel free to pass it on in turn. This is one of those things that’s so useful, everyone should know it. And it’s not as though I came up with it on my own. πŸ™‚


  14. Bernadette says:

    As I said, important information. Thanks for sharing at the Senior Salon.


  15. Cathleen, I just posted an image for tomorrow’s article using your instructions. Thank you, thank you, thank you – you’ve made my life so much easier, and I don’t worry as much about accidentally using licensed images without permission.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. […] So today, I hopped onto Google images for some better-quality pics labeled for reuse (thanks to Cathleen Townsend for teaching me how to find […]

    Liked by 1 person

  17. E. E. Rawls says:

    I had no idea about this, thank you for sharing, Cathleen!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I was happy to do so, Elizabeth. It’s made a big difference in time-saving for me. πŸ™‚


  19. Hi Cathleen! I’m linking this post and your review of Better Blogging with Photography in tomorrow’s post. I’m giving a presentation on “Wise Use of Blog Images” to a group of Sacramento bloggers this weekend, which strangely coincides with the book’s initial launch one year ago today! So I’m offering the book free for three days! Thanks again for your review and support πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  20. […] She also links an informative and time saving post: An Easy, Fast, Ethical Way to Find Online Pics Using Google […]

    Liked by 1 person

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