Remember a few days ago I told you Google was going to make changes to Google Image Search because of the Getty Images legal spat and deal they closed recently? Well, within a few days Google made those changes already.
Google announced yesterday on Twitter:
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.â" Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) February 15, 2018
So as I said Google Image search will make the copyright disclaimer more prominent and remove the view image button from the interface. They did both of those and also removed the feature to Search by Image button but the reverse image search is still there.
Here is the before:
Here is the after:
Of course, searchers are not winning here and some are upset that Google made these changes. Here are some upset searchers:
Such a terrible update, please reverse that, we LIVE for the "search by image" and "view image", that's the purpose for Google Imagens, unless it's useless, lbhâ" Gui Leite (@guialeite) February 15, 2018
This is not a great update guys. Sometimes the websites do not give a clear link to the images we try to pull, which is why the View Image button was useful. Please rethink thisâ" Moshe Isaacianð'¡ (@MosheIsaacian) February 15, 2018
This is terrible; all functions I regularly use, are being phased outâ" Eric Sieverts (@sieverts) February 15, 2018
terrible idea! ðâ" George M ðªðº (@EXDE601E) February 15, 2018
I'm almost never interested in the original webpage when searching for an image; I want instead to access the image directly
On the other hand, this might lead to more image search traffic to publishers:
You might be getting more image search traffic -> After signing a licensing deal with Getty, Google Image Search removes View Image button; Search by Image button also removed but still works through search bar https://t.co/ul1lDmrBfH via @rustybrick pic.twitter.com/NIqSwuXG69â" Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) February 15, 2018
Although in the WebmasterWorld thread, one image search SEO said his pageviews are drastically down from Google Image search after the change. He wrote:
I've woken up to my worst start to the day, ever! PVs across several sites are almost non-existent and I really mean 1 or 2 PVs ... Time to investigate.
It is a bit too early to tell right now, but we will keep an eye on it.
Google also did confirm the change was related to Getty Images:
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.â" Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) February 15, 2018