What Happened To Google Image Search And Why You Can No Longer View Images Directly

Image: Supplied

Yesterday, Google made a few changes to the way Image Search works, the biggest tweak being the removal of the "View Image" button they would take you straight to the image's URL. Now, all you'll see is "Visit", which navigates to the page on which the image appears. So, why did Google do this? A legal settlement with Getty Images basically.

Danny Sullivan, Google's public search liaison, tweeted about the change on February 16:

When asked for the reasoning, he followed up with this response:

The "View Image" button wasn't the only casualty; with Sullivan mentioning the demise of "Search by Image". He clarified however that reverse image search is still available, you just can't shortcut it any more when browsing search results.

Of course, killing "View Image" won't stop anyone who wants the direct URL: it's a simple matter of right-clicking the image and selecting "Open in new window / tab", or whatever equivalent in your browser of choice, which does the same thing.

Oh well, whatever placates Getty I guess.

Google SearchLiaison [Twitter, via ZDNet]


    I'm a Google beta tester and no such change has occurred

      Hey @brodie yes it has happened. Perhaps clear your cookies and cache in your chrome browser and check again.

    Right clicking and opening the image in a new tab doesn't work - at least not on Android Chrome. All you get is the Google cached version, which is often lower resolution. The dumb thing is by removing direct access, they've made I'd REALLY hard for anything appearing in a forum, blog, etc where the images stay static but the page updates all the time and the image might not be there later.
    If this was to do with Getty, why not only do it with Getty stuff? Bl

      Hey @Timmy NotLoggedIn,

      Yes I checked the right click option on my Laptop, I use a windows operating system and the right click took me to the same page of the website as what the visit button did so I don't really see a big change there. I couldn't get it to work from my Android phone though!

      Right click on image, select "Open image in new tab." Done.

    Well, that sucks. Guess I'm migrating to BING now. That was one of the main reasons to use Google....ease of use, now (at least for me) useless.

    Today we're launching some changes on Google Images to help connect users and useful websites.Nice try Google spokesperson, but taking away things that were useful is not "helping" users.

    Well that just SUCKS!!! Thank you Google, u have now become useless to me as u were the best for researching images. This was the main REASON I had Google as my homepage! I always loved looking and searching on your images and now that choice has gone. You’ve taken something really useful and great away!! I don't want to connect with users or go on [what u call ‘useful websites’]. Most of the websites today are so full of junk advertising blinking away or extremely distracting that its unpleasant visiting websites so I avoid them as much as possible! It is becoming more and more difficult to wait for the download of the website I visit and frustratingly takes a very long time or will not fully download as there is SOOOOOO much going on the page with annoying useless boring adverts… its like a load of junkmail!! [and most of them from Google which are in your face and extremely intrusive!!]. U can keep your getty images as I was never interested in them anyway. Now I will either make Bing or Yahoo my homepage. I am NOT INTERESTED at all in ‘Visiting’ the webpage to view an image… takes far too long and just wastes my time. I think u Google have made a wrong move!

    removing the ability to view and image unless I got the website ...no thanks ....I'll find another browser ....trying to find , and view in detail , images of places i want to visit..if I can't do that here I'll do it elsewhere ....so may as well close blog, author site, and e mails ...

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