Google has removed the'View Image' button in image search results, eliminating a simple way for users to see an image in isolation from the page it was sourced from. The seemingly small change has implications for many users since it makes it more difficult to save high-resolution images straight from image search results. The change is related to last week's announcement by Getty Images of a new multi-year licensing partnership with Google. Getty Image's iStock announced that Google had agreed to make its image search copyright disclaimer more prominent and remove the View Image button. The photo agency last year filed a competition complaint with the European Commission accusing Google of promoting piracy because its image search results included large, high-resolution images.
Image SEO used to be a huge aspect of content and site optimization, with the potential to drive tons of image search traffic. File names, alt tags, and image sitemaps were all super important. The "view image" button was added to Google Images in 2013. With the new implementation, sites saw an average decrease of 63 percent in image search traffic. While image optimization is still an extensive practice, it hasn't been effective for driving much traffic.