Unlicensed images are images from companies that sell high-quality stock imagery such as Adobe Stock and Getty Images. They put their watermark across the image so that people can still use them if they want but it has watermarks all over it.
People do use these quite commonly. I see unlicensed stock images on many different websites and today I was on PayPal and noticed that they were using an Adobe Stock unlicensed image.
This is totally unacceptable for a company the size of PayPal. It looks very unprofessional and it’s a clear sign that the person updating the website did not spend the time or the energy to license the image properly to make it look correct.
They are advertising Adobe Stock all over their imagery as you can see below and it’s a really bad idea:
I see people who are creating presentations and other professional documents and using unlicensed images and that’s really a bad idea. There’s plenty of websites where you don’t have to pay for high-quality images such as pexels.com.
However, if you are running a professional business or professional document for a company, I would highly suggest just licensing images from companies such as Adobe Stock or Shutter Images. It’s only $25 for five images from Adobe Stock, so five dollars per image basically for the monthly subscription, which you can cancel after using for one month.
At only five dollars per images it doesn’t make sense to have unlicensed images like what PayPal is doing. They are billion dollar business, surely they can afford five dollars for an image. What’s worse is that it also hurts your SEO.
When Google sees that there is an unlicensed image on your website they are less likely to rank you on the search results because it can is considered a form of theft. Now technically it’s not really theft because the watermark is still on the image, however in a way it is basically theft because the image was never paid for.
Definitely a gray area that you don’t want to find your business and or your professional career in. The best thing you could possibly do is just go out and take your own high resolution images. I wrote a blog post about how helpful this can be for your website to go out and photograph your local city or to take journaling of photos while you were out and traveling:
Photographing Local Town SEO Trick
This is one of the very best ways to improve your SEO because the images are unique and never been on the web before. Google wants unique images to index, so they will index your website and images quickly and place them high in search.
Have a question about how to find the right images for your website or for your document? I’ll be glad to help you out and get your project rocking! Drop me a line on my contact page located here and I will be sure to help you as soon as possible!
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