A Guide to Searching and Using Pictures in Your Posts

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Chhavi Vatwani
Chhavi Vatwani
A Guide to Searching and Using Pictures in Your Posts

As a poem lover, I have tons of poetry blogs on my Google Reader that I dutifully read every morning. This is my everyday newspaper. It gives me everything I wanna know. The poetry hubs I visit have prompts for members sometimes to write about and submit for all of them to read and grow. These prompts can be images, and those are my favorite kind! The image prompts the wonder of venting out your feelings that overwhelm you just by looking at a particular image.

Image prompt or no, any sort of poetry (or for that matter, any form of textual content) is complemented with a nice picture. The downside of it is that often times, I have seen people either don’t mention whose image it is or just throw ‘Images taken from Google’ beneath these images or at the end of their post.

Indeed, I have done that too in past to be honest. I wondered, lately, what if my poem comes up on someone’s search and they use it on THEIR website (simply Copy + Paste it) and attributes it to Google, and not me?!

Example of Bad Crediting

That’s exactly how owners of pictures would feel. Writers and artists all over the world are all too aware of plagiarism. But that doesn’t mean we would stop creating art; we just need to figure a protected way and respect each other’s work. Everyone needs only the most fabulous piece of art, don’t we?

So how do we search for that fabulous piece of art and actually give credit to a person, rather than Google?

Image Search Websites

There are thousands of image search websites, including the most commonly used Google Image. Search engines are the ones you know alread: Yahoo, Bing. What you are about to discover is this…

Wikipaintings and Wikimedia Commons are Wiki’s image galleries offering legitimate use of images for private use!

Wikipaintings thoughtfully shows us a little about the artist who has created the artwork so you actually know the person you’re attributing to. Knowing about the artists somehow does compel us in crediting them wherever you use their work. That’s what’s so wonderful about Wikipaintings.

Artist ‘About’ on Wikipainting

Wikimedia Commons is the other Wiki gallery which does not house only images, but also videos and audios. And this is what they have to say upright:

The Wikimedia Foundation owns almost none of the content on Wikimedia sites—it is owned by the individual creators.

Also since this is the place ANYONE can share their files, Wikimedia Commons advises you to check copyright conditions.

So yes, of course there is no running away from crediting.

And then again, there are even more image websites for you. Check out Flickr Creative Commons, Photo Bucket, Public Domain Images, Photo Pin, Wylio, and the Digital Image Magazine.

And do not forget Pinterest and StumbleUpon!!!—the places where you can get the most beautiful photographs, especially on DIY stuff!

Yet another place where we all too often end up during our image search is private blogs. These private blog owners took photos, or painted, or designed these images— a process that involves hard work definitely. It does, just like you did with your own content. And it’s not as if they forgot to mention their name or company or copyright information.

Yet, what people do is, since they originally searched the image on Google, they will carelessly upload and just put a note underneath saying “Images taken from Google.” Yeah. It’s pretty messed up for these image owners.

Wherever you search, do take out just a minute, before downloading them for use, to check out their copyrights. It doesn’t take more than a minute, really! Especially once you get familiar with the copyrights.


Due to the ease of acquiring, sharing, and re-touching of not only images, but any work in this modern world, it has become necessary for all to copyright their content. What kinds of Copyrights do we see today? How will you know if any image is shareable or not (and similarly, re-touchable or not)?


Copyrights we come across today fall into two categories:

  1. Free Creative Commons Licenses
  2. Non-Free Creative Commons Licenses

Types of Free Creative Commons Licenses According to the Different Manner of Sharing:

You can download and use images with a Free Creative Commons License. These are of the following types, depending on the different manner of sharing (as found via Wikipedia):

1. CC – Zero


“You can copy, modify, distribute, and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.”


2. CC – By


“Those who reproduce the work must attribute it in the manner specified by the author or licensor (as the parameter “Attribution details”).”

A new 3.0 version is available; this has to be upgraded by the content owner, it is not upgraded automatically.

 3. CC –By – In


This is the CC – By India License based on Indian Law.



image0075. CC – SA


The Share Alike License commands:

“If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one.” – Creative Commons

6. CC – By – SA


This is a combination of CC – By and Share Alike, so you have to attribute as well as share under the same license.

General acronyms used:

  • CC – Creative Commons
  • By translates to Attribution required
  • SA – Share Alike
  • In – Indian license based on Indian Law

Types of Non-Free Creative Commons Licenses:

You cannot upload images falling into one of the following license categories:

  1. NoDerivs
  2. Attribution – NoDerivs
  3. NonCommercial
  4. Attribution – NonCommercial
  5. NonCommercial – ShareAlike
  6. Attribution – NonCommercial – ShareAlike
  7. NoDerivs – NonCommercial
  8. Attribution – NoDerivs – NonCommercial

Advanced Settings

When you search for images on any website, how will you know the manner in which you can use the images, or if you can use them at all!?

There’s a great tip that I recently read in this article on Advanced Settings of search engines! What it tells us is that there are ways of filtering our image search.

Let’s see how you can filter out Google image search for use, modification, sharing commercially or non-commercially.

Search for the image you want, and then find Advanced Search.


Now select which filter you’d like to apply to the Usage Rights.


Similarly, you can find advanced settings on the image website where you frequently get your images from.

If not, quickly go through the website where they originated from for a license. Now that you know all about the different types of licenses, you’ll be able to sort out images for using and those that you just can’t touch.

Giving Credit to the Owner

“Give Credit to a Person, rather than a search engine.”

After downloading the Free CC image, and finding about its license, it’s time to use it in your post! As stated by the Attribution licenses, you will figure out how the person wants to be attributed.

Even with or without any license, however, it is always the best practice to give credit to the owner. Exactly like you would want credit for your own hard work.

If there is CC-Zero license and you’re under no one’s obligation, you can do a good deed by mentioning the owner’s name. For others, the general rule you could apply is by mentioning their name or work, and hyperlink it to their website. If you can’t find their name, you can just write ‘Source’ and hyperlink it to their site.

Now I understand your apprehension that linking to someone else’s website may take your audience away from your website. But ask yourself, how many times have you read an article or a poem and actually clicked on the source of the images provided? So fear not, and continue the generous crediting.

Here’s an example of how to credit:

Pablo Picasso’s Woman With Yellow Hat (Jacqueline)

Finally it is advised to optimize your image! This is the last and most important part of your image usage, where you submit it to the best search-ranking opportunity! Happy blogging!

Chhavi Vatwani

Chhavi Vatwani

Chhavi is author of the blog for SearchEnabler, the on-demand SEO platform for start-ups, SMBs & marketers. She is also ... [Read full bio]