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‘Watermarked images’ and Google Image Search

What’s our take on ‘watermarked images’ for Google Image Search? Peter Linsley, Product Manager for Image Search gives his thoughts “In summary, if a feature such as watermarking reduces the user-perceived quality of your image or your image’s thumbnail, then searchers may select it less often. Preview your images at thumbnail size to get an idea of how the user might perceive it”.

Peter: It’s understandable that webmasters find watermarking images beneficial. Pros of watermarked images: Photographers can claim credit/be recognized for their art, Unknown usage of image is deterred.If search traffic is important to a webmaster, then he/she may also want to consider:

Findings relevant to watermarked images

  • Users prefer large, high-quality images (high-resolution, in-focus).
  • Users more likely to click on quality thumbnails in search results. Quality pictures (again, high-res and in-focus) often look better at thumbnail size.
  • Distracting features such as loud watermarks, text over the image, and borders are likely to make the image look cluttered when reduced to thumbnail size.
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