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Creative Commons Search Engine is Out of Beta, Has Over 300M Images

Creative Commons Search Engine is Out of Beta, Has Over 300M Images

After over two years of beta testing, Creative Commons is officially launching its search engine.

The finished product offers over 300 million images, a significant redesign with faster performance, and more relevant results.

Jane Park, CC’s Director of Product and Research, states in an announcement:

“Aesthetically, you’ll see some key changes — a cleaner home page, better navigation and filters, design alignment with, streamlined attribution options, and clear channels for providing feedback on both the overall function of the site and on specific image reuses.”

Creative Commons search index includes:

  • 19 collections pulled from open APIs
  • Cultural works from museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Graphic design from sites like Behance and DeviantArt
  • Photos from Flickr
  • and an initial set of 3D designs from Thingiverse
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Performance improvements include faster search loading times, better search phrase relevance, and analytics to understand how the search engine is used.

Creative Commons’ search engine has been the de facto tool for finding free images since it launched in beta in 2017.

When it initially launched, CC Search had only 9.5 million images available. That number has expanded exponentially and it will continue to grow.

Later this year, CC Search will index additional types of CC-licensed works, such as open textbooks and audio.

Creative Commons plans to add more features to its search engine, such as advanced filters, the ability to browse collections without entering search terms, and improved mobile UX.

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If, for whatever reason, you preferred the old Creative Commons search engine, it’s still accessible at


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Matt Southern

Lead News Writer at Search Engine Journal

Matt Southern has been the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal since 2013. With a degree in communications, Matt ... [Read full bio]

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