Last week, Google announced a partnership with Getty Images in which the latter licensed its content to Google. As we previously mentioned, part of the agreement included Google displaying copyright disclaimers in a more prominent manner on image results. If you hit up Google Images in the past day or two, you might notice a prominent feature is missing. As of yesterday, that went one step further as Google has removed the “View Image” button link from Google Images results.
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. pic.twitter.com/n76KUj4ioD
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) February 15, 2018
While Google indicates the move was made to “help connect users and useful websites,” the move is no doubt likely a further result of the agreement with Getty Images. The “View Image” button allowed users to directly open the image they were viewing in the search results devoid of any text or any other context. This was obviously useful for many reasons, especially — in the case of some of us here at Techaeris — getting access to full-size screenshots or press photos for news, reviews, and articles.
Another change that is going unnoticed is the removal of the “Search Google with this image” option when right clicking on an image while on a website. While it still works on Google Images search results, to search Google for that image you’ll now have to download it then drag it into the search box on the Google Images website. That is if the website you are on hasn’t disabled right-clicking or saving of images.
Of course, all is not lost as you can still right click on the image you are looking to view full-size and use the “open in new tab” or “open in new window” option on your browser to access it directly as you used to be able to do with the “View Image” button link. Those with more savviness can also view the source or right click on an image or a section of text before or after it and use the “Inspect” option in Chrome and other browsers to try and find the hard image link. Either way, gone are the days of simply clicking one button link to view a full-sized version of an image you’re after.