Google just ‘ruined’ image search, but we’ll show you how to fix it

Chris Smith

People who constantly search for images online will immediately notice what Google did to the Images section of its search engine. For everyone else, it’s just a regular Friday. Google came under fire for removing the view image option that allowed anybody to easily download any image found online, including photos they should have paid for. The official button might be gone, but it’s easy to bring it back and we’ll tell you how to do it.

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Google removed the button after Getty Images complained to the European Commission last year, BBC reports. Getty Images sells photos online for a living, and the company accused Google of anti-competitive practices. Google’s image search feature made it easy for people to find Getty Images photos and download them without permission or license. With the view image button disabled, it’s not as easy to open that image and then save it to your computer.

Google confirmed that the change is directly related to the Getty Images complaint.

“For those asking, yes, these changes came about in part due to our settlement with Getty Images this week,” Google said. “They are designed to strike a balance between serving user needs and publisher concerns, both stakeholders we value.”

Getty Images is happy with the solution. “We are pleased to announce that after working cooperatively with Google over the past months, our concerns are being recognized and we have withdrawn our complaint.”

Google search users, meanwhile, may not be too thrilled to discover the changes. However, they can still click on an image to browse the site it originates from, and the open image in new tab option is still available. Better yet, there’s a free extension for the Chrome browser that brings the button back. It looks exactly like it used to and it works the same way — download and install it right here.

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