Can I use Google Images for My Blog in Singapore

Google images

Your blog is inherently public and receives visitors from every part of the world. Right? If you’re writing a post and find a picture from Google Images that’s just perfect, is it safe to use it in your blog without copyright infringement?

Pictures are powerful and are vital in search engine optimization since photos, images, and videos visually dominate the world we’re living in today. No blog post can ‘look and feel’ thoroughly optimized if it doesn’t feature this essential aspect of SEO. The general rule of thumb on the web is to have at least one image to complement one blog post. If done properly, blogging can help you beat your competitors in terms of organic traffic, ranking on search engines and sales. 

There are several reasons why a blogger should use images in his/her posts.

  • Pictures capture the attention of your audience
  • Visual appeal makes your blog posts more memorable
  • Images are a great way to break up blocks of long text
  • Visuals add emotion to the story
  • Encourage social media sharing
  • They improve your SEO efforts by adding Alt tags and keyword rich file names
  • Images support your point
  • Increase traffic from search engines and social media platforms

In essence, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” However, the assumption that you can search for pictures online, copy and paste on your website can get you into a heap of trouble.

When it comes to copyright, most bloggers would be walking on thin ice if they copied and used an image that requires permission attributes. Even bloggers who try to use images that are explicitly in the public domain – how sure can they be that they are not contravening copyright rules? 

For this reason, most bloggers raise this concern, “Can I use Google Images for My Blog in Singapore? The answer is NO – And this is the reason.

What is Copyright?

Any content published without permission attributes is theft and is illegal. Renaissance musician David Byrne said it best on his blog, “one is supposed to pay for such use and not paying is, well, theft – it’s also illegal because one has to ask permission and that permission can be turned down.

In a nutshell, copy-pasting images, photos, videos or any content without permission or even trying to manipulate the same for use in your website is copyright infringement.

The Legal Department of Getty Images demands nearly $1000 for any copyrighted image. However, some instances allow copyrighted images published under specific circumstances. Let’s dive right in and look under what circumstances the law has been “bent.”

Google images

Fair Use

Fair Use allows limited and reasonable use of an image if it’s not for commercial purposes. However, if you have a blog that you earn revenue from, Fair Use doctrine may not help you in the case of infringement.

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Permission

The other instance that you can use an image is Permission. Here, some terms and conditions apply to the use of Google Images. These provisions are under the Creative Commons (CC) license attached to the image you want to use for your blog post.  The CC license will allow the use of an image without first requesting permission.

However, you can only use the images for non-commercial purposes, and you may also need to acknowledge the owner.

Best Practice For Legally Using Google Images In Your Blog?

Determining whether an image you want to use in your blog post is protected by copyright or not can be hard. When you’re using images from any online source, research early and don’t assume that it’s not copyrighted just because you don’t see indicated copyrights.

Here are six best practices you can apply when using images in your blog.

Assume that the image has protection from copyright law – When you assume that all images are copyrighted, you’ll be safe from any infringement as you’ll not use an image without a second thought.

Capture and use your images –Today, you can use a mobile device to capture high-quality images or screenshots that you can use in your blog post. It’s the best way to stay safe. You’ll also need to remember to copyright your images.

Linking – If you really must use an image, you can connect your page with that particular image. That way you’ll be playing safe from getting fined heavy penalties for infringement. Set out the URL instead of embedding it.

Utilize images form stock photo agencies – Some stock photo agencies offer images, photos, vector images, graphics and so forth at a fee. Once you purchase these images read the guidelines for using them.

Use CC licensed images – CC images are free to use but require attribution from the owner. Some terms and conditions apply to CC-licensed pictures. 

Verify who owns the image – You need to establish the right person who owns the image that you want to use in your blog post. The reason for this is because they may have assigned the image permission to someone else. Determine the copyright status and acquire permission from the right owner.

Free and Low-Cost Stock Images on the Web

There are many sources of free and low-cost stock images that you can find online. Here is a list of image sources online:

Wrap Up

The use of images from Google Images and other websites doesn’t protect you against copyright infringement. If you have been blindly using content in your web pages, you could be risking heavy penalties. The safest way of legally using images in the context of copyright is by using your own photos, purchasing some from stock photo agencies, linking an article or gallery posted on a specific website.

If you’re looking for safe images that will not land you into trouble, we strongly recommend allthefreestock.com. Besides, you must always verify if pictures feature Creatives Commons License. As for Fair Use images, you can find them on Google Graphics.

We also strongly recommend bloggers in Singapore to use Google Images and pictures explicitly in the public domain. Also, remember the best practice when it comes to copyright laws always assume that the images you are sourcing from the web are copyrighted. 

Get in touch with our website design team in Singapore for insights on the right images and visuals to use in your blog. Over the years, we have mastered the art of creating visuals that spark the right emotions with audiences. We can help you scale up your blog to the next level. Call us +65 6789 9852.

Author Bio

Tom Koh is widely recognised as a leading SEO consultant in Asia who has worked to transform the online visibility of the leading organisations such as SingTel, Capitaland, Maybank, P&G, WWF, etc. Recently he was instrumental in consulting for a New York-based US$30B fund in an US$4Bn acquisition. Tom is a Computational Science graduate of the National University of Singapore. In his free time he performs pro-bono community work and traveling.
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March 02, 2019

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