Google is conducting beta tests to find a way for websites to highlight licensing details about contents which appear in image search results. These changes in image search results include a small badge signifying that a specific image is ‘’licensable’’. After clicking on the image and expanding it, Google will show the place from where the image might be licensed from.


  1. A URL to a page which explains the license governing an image’s use.
  2. A URL to a page that explains where the user can find details on how to license that image.

The changes haven’t been made live yet. But websites can start preparing their content in advance and make sure that their images are eligible to show licensing details. For content to display licensing information in Google images, the website must be using image licensing metadata. Metadata needs to be added to all licensable images on a website.

Website owners can add the necessary metadata either with structured data or IPTC photo metadata. More instructions and exact code snippets are available on Google’s official developer document.

No Major Impact On Search Rankings

Google’s John Mueller had to clarify that the new changes will have no impact on search rankings.

Danny Sullivan denied that the change is in any way related to a dishonest form of link building in which people try to acquire links by falsely claiming that they own an image.

The use of image license metadata is optional. Google has so far offered data about when it will start displaying licensing information in image search results.


Navneet Kaushal is the Editor-in-Chief of PageTraffic Buzz. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet is also the CEO of SEO Services company PageTraffic which is one of the leading search marketing company in Asia.