Google recently removed the ability in their own image search function to click on the “View Image” button to reveal the source of the picture. Google removed the button after the company entered an agreement with Getty Images.


Why the change after years?

There were long time no specific details were given, only that due to Copyright reasons ‘some’ images getting removed and that the search engine might get an update but it was unclear if all images are affected or not.

In a separate message to members of its iStock photo service, Getty went into a bit more detail on what to expect from the partnership:

Moving forward, Google has agreed to make changes in Image Search, including making the copyright disclaimer more prominent and removing the view image button. In addition, we're announcing that Getty Images and Google have embarked on a global strategic partnership that will see deeper integration of Getty Images’ world class imagery across Google’s suite of products and services.
The copyright notice alongside each snap will also be made more obvious. The deal comes after Getty lodged gripes with regulators in both the US and Europe over Google Images.

What about right-click to open the image in a new tab?

Right-clicking the picture itself to open the image in a new tab works for some sites but for any image hosted on Getty, even opening the image in a new tab just sends you to the Getty site. This is new and a result of the search engine change. Right click - view image source or info still works, since this can't be blocked by the search engine itself.

How to get the 'Get Image' Option back?

There two options, you can use another search engine like StartPage or DuckDuckGo or if you like Google Image Search (because it's the best) then you can install a script to get the function back. Zanetu coded a script which brings back such a function.
  1. Install Tapermonkey for you Browser.
  2. Install the Script 'Direct Google Images' by clicking on the Stable or Beta installer which downloads and installs the script after you confirmed the prompt via Tapermonkey.
  3. Search for an Image on Google Image Search.
  4. Install an addon.
Other useful scripts for GitHub, Facebook, Google & Co. can be found at Greasyfork.

Final Words

Google removed another useful feature which you can bring back with a simple script, however, some people might not like to install another addon for this function but the alternative would be to simply start using a more private based search engine but then you might find fewer images, so every option is not really optimal but it's better than nothing in my opinion. Some script are useful while others are just crap, I do believe this one deserves a mention because it might bring something back what some people might miss.