Google removed the "view image" button from the search results appearing on Google Images on Thursday upon reaching a deal with Getty Images.
Users searching images on Google will no longer be able to open the original image directly through the search engine, but will instead only be given the option to visit the website on which the image appears.
The change came after Getty Images lodged complaints against Google in the United States and European Union for providing options to download high-resolution photographs of the image provider on the site.
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
Google's aim in removing the button is likely to make it more difficult for users to directly save an image or at least forward them to the website to show related copyright information.
Instead of being directed to a full resolution copy of an image with a click, users will now need to scroll through a website to find the original image.
Google also removed its "search by image" button, which appeared upon expanding a search result and enabled users to find the same image on different websites, after the deal. Users will still be able to do a reverse image search by clicking and dragging the image to the top of the page.
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.— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) February 15, 2018
Whether Google has also changed the search algorithm of the reverse image search engine could not be verified as the search giant mostly prefers not to elaborate such alterations in detail.
A press release on the Getty Images website provided little details about the agreement, but the company told its clients in an email that it has withdrawn complaints after Google recognized their concerns according to Peta Pixel.
Competitors of Google's image search engine such as Yahoo Images, Bing Images, DuckDuckGo and Startpage still provide an option to directly access full-resolution images.
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