As I have mentioned before photo’s, graphics and images are a key part of every website because they help illustrate what you are trying to say to your visitors. Photos, graphics and images also help your overall Alt Tag Search Engine Optimization (SEO) . I’m going to tell you how to find and get them for free, but I’m going to take the time to go over why the Alt Tag and Title Tag are important. I am also going to tell you why using photos, images and graphics in your PDF’s and presentations can help your website. Then I will get back on track 🙂
No pun intended but to illustrate this point I have used a Creative Commons graphic courtesy of jorgeandresem on Flickr. If I have correctly done the Alt Tag this page should show up during a Creative Commons image search. I also have included the Title Tag which is highly debatable on search engines ranking influence. I personally feel the Title Tag adds to the visitors decision to click on the link. Honestly, every site should be built with the visitor in mind, and search engines second. Done otherwise you will get found, but your visitors will bounce right on out quickly which in the long run is monitored by Google. “Site stickiness” or in English… how long a visitor stays on a site and repeatedly visits a site is a ranking factor. If Google analytic’s determines that too many visitors are bouncing for a term… Google will bounce you to a lower rank.
You can also use optimized photos, images and graphics in your PDF information brochures and whitepages . Many websites post various informational Adobe PDF’s (or other PDF creators). Adobe uses word recognition natively via it’s “Find” option. PDF’s are wonderful tools for getting found on the Internet. I’m not going to go into all the ways on this post, but please treat the next PDF you create like you are creating a SEO web page. You won’t be sorry… unless you are trying to hide the info 🙂
You also can optimize your presentations for the Internet. Adding interesting photos, images, graphics, graphs and other information helps keep your audience awake and interested. Bonus! Everyone was interested? This alone makes Creative Commons licensing valuable. Now add in free photos, images, graphics, graphs, etc this saves you money which in this economy is a beautiful thing for the bottom line. One last benefit is you can SEO your presentations if you want to post them upon your website. I’d recommend that you save your optimized presentation as a Power Point Presentation (or whatever presentation software you might be using) and then post it to your web site.
Creative Commons – Free Graphics, Images and Photos
Creative Commons licenses are copyright licenses for several different types of creative content released on December 16, 2002 by Creative Commons, a U.S. non-profit corporation founded in 2001. The entire focus of Creative Commons is to give creators of photographs, images, graphics, writing and other creations a standardized way to list how their work may be used in the public domain. Creative Commons is specifically meant to work with copyrights, not replace them. If you intend to copyright your photography, images, graphics, writing or other creative material I highly recommend you read up on the subject at the official U.S. Government Copyright office.
Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization
We work to increase the amount of creativity (cultural, educational, and scientific content) in “the commons” — the body of work that is available to the public for free and legal sharing, use, repurposing, and remixing.
CC provides free, easy-to-use legal tools
Our tools give everyone from individual creators to large companies and institutions a simple, standardized way to grant copyright permissions to their creative work. The Creative Commons licenses enable people to easily change their copyright terms from the default of “all rights reserved” to “some rights reserved.”
I like to find photos, images and graphics released under Creative Commons by several websites, the easiest I use is Flickr, however I also like the following. Please let me know of any others and search methods you use. I’ll post your info with a direct link to your site.
Creative Commons – Image Search provided by Creative Commons
- Go to the Creative Commons Search page
- Make sure “use for commercial purposes” is selected
- Make sure “modify, adapt, or build upon” is selected
- Put in your search term and Creative Commons Search will search various sites for creative work licensed under the Creative Commons Licence
Flickr – Raster Photos
- Go to flickr advance search page
- Select the “Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content” option
- Select “Find content to use commercially”
- Select “Find content to modify, adapt, or build upon”
- Enter the search term the photos, images, graphics (e.g “Internet”)
Clicker – Vector Graphics / Raster Photos
- Go to Clicker page
- Happy searching
Open Photo – Raster Photos
- Go to Open Photo page
- Happy searching
- Each creator has their own licensing requirements such as a link back to their work
Open Clip Art – Vector Graphics in SVG format
- Go to the Open Clip Art page
- Use the search box in the upper right corner
- Enter your search term(s)
- InkScape is a great Open Source Freeware application if you do not have Coral Draw or Adobe Illustrator
Stock.Xchng – Raster Photos
- Go to the Stock.Xchng advanced search page
- Enter your search terms(s) and parameters
- The first row of results are photos/graphics from as low as $1 to license – Very cheap option for vector based logo creation
- The rest of the results are free and subject to creator’s terms
Pixel Perfect Digital – Raster Images / Photos
- Go to Pixel Perfect Digitalpage
- Happy searching
Free Foto – Raster Photos
- Go to Free Foto page
- Happy searching
- You must give attribution and a link to FreeFoto.com to fulfill licensing requirements
Icon’s Etc – Raster Images
- Go to Icon’s Etc page
- You can search, but I find using the categories or looking by tags easier
- They also offer tutorials on creating your own images in Photoshop
Copyright-Friendly Wiki List
- Go to Copy right friendly – Wiki Spaces.
- A great list of websites to scour for great images.
Don’t forget to link back to the photo and comply with the license terms!
For even more resources here is an excellent page that lists some of the above sites and about 100 more. You are sure to find whatever you are looking for between the list on this Squidoo Lens Free web graphics. Or this great list on Specky Boy of 80 free sites with vector graphics.
Now for those of you who are interested, you can copyright your website.
Can I copyright my website?
The original authorship appearing on a website may be protected by copyright. This includes writings, artwork, photographs, and other forms of authorship protected by copyright. Procedures for registering the contents of a website may be found in Circular 66, Copyright Registration for Online Works.
You can NOT copyright your domain name.
Can I copyright my domain name?
Copyright law does not protect domain names. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a nonprofit organization that has assumed the responsibility for domain name system management, administers the assignation of domain names through accredited registers.
You can NOT copyright a name, title, slogan & logo. You CAN copyright the artwork.
How do I copyright a name, title, slogan or logo?
Copyright does not protect names, titles, slogans, or short phrases. In some cases, these things may be protected as trademarks. Contact the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, 800-786-9199, for further information. However, copyright protection may be available for logo artwork that contains sufficient authorship. In some circumstances, an artistic logo may also be protected as a trademark.
My own personal bummer!!!! I wonder how often they got this request… I’ve made the pilgrimage to Graceland, no disrespect to the King of Rock & Roll!!!!
How do I protect my sighting of Elvis?
Copyright law does not protect sightings. However, copyright law will protect your photo (or other depiction) of your sighting of Elvis. File your claim to copyright online by means of the electronic Copyright Office (eCO). Pay the fee online and attach a copy of your photo. Or, go to the Copyright Office website, fill in Form CO, print it, and mail it together with your photo and fee. For more information on registration a copyright, see SL-35. No one can lawfully use your photo of your sighting, although someone else may file his own photo of his sighting. Copyright law protects the original photograph, not the subject of the photograph.
More information is available from the source: Copyright.gov