Google Images Update: So much more than a badge

August 31, 2020


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After a year of collaboration with the Digital Media Licensing Association, Google has launched its licensable image features. These features will help users identify images from licensors in Google search results.

However, there’s even more to it than the highly anticipated badge. Through the Usage Rights filter, users now can restrict search results to images available for commercial licensing.

The filter enables users to easily find licensable imagery sourced from multiple image providers with a single click and do so with the confidence that everything they find can be legally acquired for reuse. 

This is great news for DMLA members – and a key reason the organization got involved –  because Google’s ranking system benefits agencies large and small. The level playing field Google provides will enable niche agencies with sound SEO practices to appear alongside much larger agencies.

“These features are a great step forward in making it easier for users to quickly identify and license visual content,” said DMLA President Leslie Hughes. “Google has worked closely with us, sharing tools and details while simultaneously gathering feedback and addressing our members’ questions or concerns. We look forward to continuing this collaboration as Google deploys the features globally.”

DMLA members also will benefit from Google’s global reach. Until now, the reach of a stock agency was limited by its marketing budget and social networking skills. With these new features, it makes sense to spend the time and effort to get content into the Google Image index. 

“This is absolutely a game changer,” said Mark Milstein, DMLA Technology Chair. “The combination of embedded IPTC photo metadata and Google’s Licensable Badge will, for the first time, guarantee that the most critical descriptive, technical and copyright related metadata remain together with the photography from licensing platform to end user and beyond.”

Want to know more? (Of course you do!) Find out exactly how to put the Google badge to work for your licensable images, chat with member agencies who already are using it, and dive deep into the retention of metadata – one of DMLA’s initiatives – at this year’s virtual Digital Media Licensing Conference, Oct. 25-30.

In the meantime, you can read more about the features in depth from Google.

One more takeaway: Don’t be surprised if on day one not all images from early adopters show up with badges. It will take time for the Googlebot to index the web, but the payoff promises to be worth the wait.