Google cripples image search, angering users

“Google just made two big changes to image search, and you’re not going to like either of them,” Killian Bell reports for Cult of Mac. “In addition to killing off the ‘view image’ button, the company has removed the ability to ‘search by image.'”

“The heartbreaking changes come after a complaint from Getty Images, which wants Google to make it harder for people to steal its photos,” Bell reports. “Google image search is — or was — one of the greatest tools on the web. You can use it to find an image of almost anything. Until now, you could then save that image, or use it to find something similar. Not anymore.”

“‘Today we’re launching some changes on Google Images to help connect users and useful websites,’ Google explains. ‘This will include removing the View Image button… ‘For those asking, yes, these changes came about in part due to our settlement with Getty Images this week,’ Google adds,” Bell reports. “Getty filed a complaint with the European Commission in 2016 because it was unhappy that Google image search made it easy for people to find and steal its photos without attribution. Getty confirmed a settlement with Google last week.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Just block Getty Images in your image search results, geniuses.

Whatever. For years now, Bing has been more useful for image searches than Google ever was and DuckDuckGo, the search engine that doesn’t track you, offers nice image search features, too.


  1. By reputation Bing is noted for not filtering porn the way Google does, so make sure those filters are set properly.
    As to Google, you can always open developer mode on Safari and see the files Google has hidden (Getty) or any other webpage.

    1. by golly,

      this is the kind of insightful info i used to frequently read here on mdn…. before it mostly turned overtly political.

      leave us go back to the future for more of the way it used to was.

      thanks davgreg

  2. Ironic that this complaint is from Getty Images, especially that their complaint is someone stealing “their” images, when they’ve been sued and lost multiple times by photographers whose photos were stolen by Getty Images. Screw them.

  3. They had already crippled it (at least mobile) by making it so you couldn’t save images without going to the site…but like all google searches on mobile, it keeps you in google even when you click on a link to a search result. You have to click the banner at the top to go to the actual site..otherwise everything you do after that is still inside googles prying eyes.

  4. Just use DuckDuckGo. I’ve used it for years, and never found any significant difference with respect to image search. And it doesn’t track you. Google is not necessary.

  5. Seeing as Getty visibly WATER MARK all their images, and what they show on the net are LOW RES, what’s the BFD?!

    Anyway, there are OTHER search engines AND there are workarounds if you just gotta see that image.

    I can’t really blame Google, just as I can’t really blame Pandora. Stupid Getty should figure the hell out that this is FREE MARKETING for their copyrighted images. DUH. 🙄

  6. Huh? Yes the “View Image” button is gone, but I never used it.

    I am generally able to get to the images in the search results the same way as ever, click on them, or right click and say “Open in new Window”. I have not seen any big inconvenience here at all.

    DuckDuckGo is my default search engine, but when I really want thorough results I bop over to Google. I have found that when searching on a topic I know very well already, that Google has much more relevant information about me (unfortunately) than DDG.

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