When I publish a new article on my website, I always try to insert new, relevant and possibly even original images. The problem is that I’m not a graphic designer and the few infographics I’ve made by myself look more like road signs than actual infographics. Hence the need to find quality and above all copyright-free images elsewhere.
The solution is to search online with Google, using one of the thousands of advanced search features .
When you search with Google, you can filter your results to find freely usable text, images, or videos. Use the advanced search filter called “ Usage rights ” which allows you to check if you can use, share or modify the content found online.
Look for royalty-free images
Search for images, text and videos to reuse freely
- Open Google’s online Advanced Image Search tool to find images , or Advanced Search for all other content.
- In the box ” all these words “, enter the terms of your search.
- In the ” usage rights ” section, use the drop-down menu to select the type of license to filter from the available content. The most open license is “free to use, share or modify, even commercially” .
- Click the Advanced Search button to receive the list of results.
Types of usage rights
- Freely usable or shareable: allows you to copy or redistribute content, as long as it is not modified.
- Freely usable, shareable or modifiable: allows you to copy, modify or redistribute the contents in the manner specified in the license.
- For commercial purposes: If you want to find content for commercial use, be sure to select an option that includes the words “for commercial purposes”.
How usage rights work
Use rights allow you to identify content to be used beyond fair use *. Site owners can use licenses to indicate if and how content from their sites can be reused.
* note: fair use (in Italian, fair, equitable or correct use or use) is a legislative provision of the legal system of the United States of America, based on which it is established, under certain conditions, the lawfulness of the citation not authorized, or unauthorized incorporation, of copyrighted material into another author’s work.
The usage rights filter on the Advanced Search page shows content that is licensed under a Creative Commons , or other similar license, or listed as being in the public domain. For images, the usage rights filter also shows images licensed under the GNU Free Documentation license .
Note: Before reusing any content or images you find online, check that the relevant license is legitimate and review the exact terms of reuse. For example, the license may require that the name of the creator of an image be mentioned when it is used, or that the source be cited with a clickable link.
Google can’t know if a license is legitimate, so you need to check that the content is legally licensed.
Alternatives to Google
In addition to Google’s advanced search, there are numerous tools and archives dedicated to cataloging copyright-free images.
Among the best known services we find: