Monday, September 10, 2018

Bloggers, PLEASE Watermark Your Pictures!

Not feeling well this morning, I decided to surf the web for some RV organization ideas, especially how to deal with Hubby's shoes. I found a picture on Google, which led to Pinterest, which led to another Pinterest, which led to yet another Pinterest, which seemed to lead to a blog. I searched the blog, and no photo. I did an image search of that photo and the search results yielded eight pages of results, and only one of them was Pinterest. But none of those results went to real websites either. Well, I suppose they were real, but they had no substance. They are websites that collect photos and snippets of popular information from other websites and they are designed for the sole purpose of installing cookies on computers. Your computer and my computer. You can read more about it here and see a few ways to protect yourself from these modern day cookie monsters.

Here's what I mean. I went to Pinterest.com and typed Unique shoe rack into the search box. Google image search does better with photos that stand out from the others, thus the word unique. Then, I picked a photo that went to an actual website. This photo:



The link was to core77.com and they sourced the photo to theshrine.co. That photo, however, is not on The Shrine's website. It may be an old design which has been taken off their website, or it may not be their photo at all. So I went to their About us page, where there is a photo of their original shoe rack design, not watermarked, and did a google image search for it. Now you would think that doing an image search from the original photo on the original website would make it easy to find. Apparently not. Google came up with ten pages of search results, and from my quick glance, The Shrine wasn't found at all. This, however, is what it did find:



Search garbage. For the last year, nearly every image search I have done has been filled with this stuff and it has gotten a lot worse in the last few months.

Google image search is pretty worthless now because of Pinterest and these Cookie websites. It's almost impossible to find the original source of a photo unless it is watermarked. So if you see a photo of a whatzit on pinterest and you'd like to see how they made it, or see it from another angle, you probably aren't going to be able to find it unless it is watermarked or the photo is sourced.

Fellow bloggers, I beg of you, please watermark your photos so the rest of us can track them back to you. It won't keep these websites from using them without permission. I've given up on trying to protect my photos, but I do watermark most of them so people will know that the photos are mine and not the website where they found it. Until the last few days, I didn't think it was necessary to watermark poor photos, but after my search this morning, I am rethinking that too.

8 comments:

  1. We've been doing this for years ; as you say, it doesn't keep some people from using them without permission, but it helps when you have to claim for your work. Purrs

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    1. That's true. I think that's why a lot of people date their photos too. I made a watermark a long time ago on PicMonkey and just use it on all my photos. A date would complicate it.

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  2. I always link the photos I use, but rarely have I posted my on pictures. I need to do this with my photographs.

    Have a fabulous day. ♥

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  3. I'm always amazed where photos end up when I am doing an image search. The same photo could be on hundreds of websites, in several countries.

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  4. Thanks for the technical info. I haven't been watermarking, I should probably start.

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  5. I haven't bothered with this because generally I don't think my pictures are that good to need watermarking. Also, if watermarks are always as visible as I have seen on others' photos, I worry about it distracting from the photo itself. But I had not thought about it from the angle that someone might want to track back to the original source. Interesting thought.

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  6. interesting indeed. I feel like Angie in the comment above, don't think of my pictures as being worth stealing, but just for fun, for a while I tried adding a kind of watermark but didn't want it to be over the top of my photos and if I put my blog name in the corner, a photo thief would probably just crop it out.

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  7. Hey very interesting blog!

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