Where to find free to use images?

October 13, 2015 - 3  min reading time - by Emma Labrador
Home > SEO Thoughts > Where to find free to use images?

Images are an essential part of your blog. In term of SEO, images help to develop your rankings throughout the ALT tag or the file name but are also a great way to attract visitors on your blog and so on to increase your traffic. But when you don’t have the money to afford a graphic designer to create great and compelling visuals, there are free solutions out there to grab free to use images. Keep in mind that qualitative images will help drive a qualified audience to your website. So avoid any poor and unaesthetic visuals.

What types of images can I use?

Actually, you cannot use any image you find on the web. There are royalty to respect, credits to attribute or certain rules to follow. It is thus important to know which image you can use and which one you can’t depending on royalties.
There are many different type of licences but the ones below are the ones you need to know to legally exploit images on your blog.

  • Creative Commons : this non profit organisation has set this service in order to help photographers with their licence. Images from Flickr, Google, Yahoo, Pixabay are not always available for commercial use that’s why this service is free. However, a photo credit is mandatory ;
  • Royalty Free (RF) : This service allows you to browse throughout photo stock websites and you will only have to pay the licence to use them. This is the case of websites like Fotolia, Shutterstock, Istockphoto or Gettyimages ;
  • Public Domain : there is no licence or fees for public domain images. The photographer has decided to place his work in the public domain for any usage.

Where to find free and appealing images to illustrate your website?

Here is a selection of totally or partially free websites offering highly qualitative pictures and images.

1# Flickr

This website delivers non professional images. However, the majority of this content is highly qualitative. Flickr has rules to use its images. The website actually offers a creative commons licence which clarifies the terms of use. To copy, distribute, display and communicate on one of the images, it is necessary to realise an advanced search and then to only select the creative commons images.

2# Publicdomainarchive

This website offers free to use images and tries to centralise a large choice of photographics. On this website, the images are ordered by themes and a toolbar is available for an easier search. It is also possible to contribute to the website by sending your own pictures – which have to respect a few technical rules.

3# Unsplash

Unsplash is a catalogue of images created under Tumblr which has made the promise to upload 10 new images every day. The photos are in high resolution and allows XXL sizes. However, the website does not allow to realise an advanced search.

4# Every Stock Photo

This website works like a search engine by redirecting requests to the right web provider. The website indexes around 20 million images. It is however important to realise an advanced search to only access the free to use ones.

5# MorgueFile

This website offers free to use images pretty qualitative. You are allowed to copy, distribute, transmit the work and to adapt the work. Attribution is not required and you can also upload your own one.

6# Iconfinder

Images on a website are not just about photographics but also icons. Iconfinder offers a large selection of icons free to use but also paid ones. Thus, be careful to only select the free ones.

7# Pikwizard

Pikwizard provides a large range of high quality pictures in various categories as city, landscape, people, winter, technology… One of the strong assets of this website is to provide many pictures of people: a good practice to make your articles even more realistic! Also, you have the possibility to edit the pictures in the DesignWizard editor. However, some of these options aren’t free.

8# Canva

Canva offers millions of high-quality images for your blog, designs and other communication materials. From animals to interiors or patterns, Canva shares a wide range of themes.

To sum up, these websites deliver great alternatives to paid images websites by offering qualitatives free images.

Emma Labrador See all their articles
Emma was the Head of Communication & Marketing at Oncrawl for over seven years. She contributed articles about SEO and search engine updates.
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