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Some people only discover the world of stock photography when they first need images for a project. New website for their company, duct remodeling pictures social networks, marketing campaigns, etc. Stock photos are photos that you can buy and use in your own projects, without having to hire a photographer and therefore spend much less money and save a lot of time. Authors or photographers send their photos to companies that offer large digital catalogs full of images that you can pay for online and download directly from their websites. You buy a photo from an agency, and they then split the profits with the photographer.

There are many proponents and opponents of the use of stock photos. Perhaps the bottom line is that stock photos might be inappropriate in situations where readers expect to see photos of real people, such as "our team" website page.

 

Are there any downsides to stock photos?

John Mueller and Lizzi Sassman from Google discussed the benefits of using stock photos and the impact on the web and image search.

To start the conversation about stock photos, Lizzy Sussman, who maintains Google's Search Central documentation, first asked if there were any arguments against using stock photos.

Mueller acknowledges that using stock photos is acceptable for use to bring textual context to life, but also suggests that the image should be appropriate for the audience.

 

Muller says:

"I think if you want to use them as a decorative element on the page, that's fine.

A little more color in a post or any content we have. will spice up that content a bit

So if it's, I don't know, a Halloween-themed article, and then I add… I don't know… stock photos of spiders…

I guess you wouldn't want them to have too realistic a picture of a spider. That might be disturbing for some people.”

 

Pros and cons of stock photos

They then discussed stock photos in relation to image searches. Mueller talked hypothetically about posting stock photos to the Google Seach Central page, using this example to illustrate the situation.

Muller continued:

"But I think it should be kept in mind that it is a stock photo. And if people are searching for Halloween photos, it's unlikely that we'd show up in the search results for that. We would have that image, but probably, I don't know, 20, 30 other sites have the same image, and they all have a license for it, and it's fine to display it.

And maybe even the original stock photo distribution site has that image in the search results. And if you're looking for something like a Halloween image, then you probably want to deal with the original website.

Not that the Search Central documentation should rank for that query.

I guess another aspect is also that you wouldn't rank this photo in Image Search results either, but that doesn't count either. So (if) you have other good images on the same page or site… or if you're talking web search, it won't hurt your site.

It's more, it's like, well, it's decorative, but it's not what your site is about. Therefore, you will not rank for that particular photo.

But everything else will be fine.

It's not like we say: Oh, this is a generic site. We shouldn't show it in search."

 

So stock photography won't have a negative impact on website performance, which should reassure anyone who is worried.

On the other hand, don't expect stock photos to rank in image searches.

There is a fear that stock photos can have the effect of turning off site visitors by using them, but this is only the case if the stock photo is used in a context that requires authenticity.

 

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Source: searchenginejournal 

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