Google has introduced a major change to its search engine.
Google users searching for photos on Google Images may have noticed that one popular feature is no longer available.
Previously when you searched for an image on Google, a ‘view image’ button appeared next to each picture.
However, Google has removed this handy feature just when it announced a deal with Getty Images.
In 2017, Getty, which profits from selling images to media and news organisations, complained to the European Commission that the button allowed people to easily use images without permission.
The ‘view image’ button allowed you to open any image in a web browser, making it easy to download.
Users can still download pictures from Google but now they have to visit the site it is hosted on, rather than simply opening the images in a new tab from their browser.
Google have also removed the ‘search by image’ button which let you find different sizes of a particular photo.
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
Speaking about the changes, a spokesperson for Google said: “For those asking, yes, these changes came about in part due to our settlement with Getty Images this week.
“They are designed to strike a balance between serving user needs and publisher concerns, both stakeholders we value.”
“This agreement between Getty Images and Google sets the stage for a very productive, collaborative relationship between our companies, said Dawn Airey, CEO, Getty Images.
“We will licence our market leading content to Google, working closely with them to improve attribution of our contributors’ work and thereby growing the ecosystem,” she added.
This is a ridiculous inconvenience. I've never wanted anything from getty images, and would happily see their results removed, or just apply this change to content any pages which make a mention of getty images.
— Jesse Levesque (@XOIIO) February 16, 2018
However, the changes have been heavily criticized by user who have complained on social media.
“Google images got rid of the direct image link feature and with that the old internet has truly died”, tweeted one user.
Read another post: “People use google images to find images, not to visit websites. Another user-unfriendly decision”.
Another added: “Has anyone noticed that Google Images has become completely awful?”
How to get the View Image button back in Google search results
Luckily, users have already shared a way to ensure the handy View Image button appears in your search results once more.
Chrome and Opera users can simply install this browser extension and you will see the View Image button back in its rightful place next time you search.