Searching for images relating to a particular subject or those matching an image you already had was made particularly easy by using Google's search engine. While a boon for consumers, the search giant has come under fire by content creators and publishers, who aren't pleased with the ease of access with which users can copy their copyrighted images through Google Images.
As such, the company is making a small change to the user interface for showing results related to image searches. The 'view image' button which allowed you to conveniently open an image alone has now been removed.
Of course, this doesn't mean you won't be able to download the images at all, if you so wanted. It's simply a measure that is aimed at making things a little more harder for users before they can obtain a local copy of an image, as you are now required to instead 'visit' the webpage where the image is found and then manually open it from within the website hosting it.
Today we're launching some changes on Google Images to help connect users and useful websites. This will include removing the View Image button. The Visit button remains, so users can see images in the context of the webpages they're on. pic.twitter.com/n76KUj4ioD— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) February 15, 2018
The changes will ultimately mean users are more likely to visit the sites where images they like are hosted, thereby helping drives revenues for the site through ad views and increase the overall exposure of the website. Unfortunately, some sites do tend to disable the ability to right-click on, and open, images, which may make it even harder to grab an image.
Alongside this change, the 'search by image' button has also been removed from the search results. As with the last change, this doesn't mean you can't search using an image at all but simply that you now have one more step to perform before you can reverse search for images. You will now need to drag the image results you've opened into the search bar manually. This, again, seems aimed at allaying publishers' concerns about users quickly searching for alternative images that do not feature a watermark.