Fortunately, free photo websites have been popping up, giving you many options to find that perfect image.
Even better news: you don’t have to spend hours searching the web yourself to find these websites. I have compiled a large list of free online image sources that have photos you will actually want to use.
The sites are in no particular order. Some have extremely niche categories.
Even though I provided notes about each website, be sure to review the sites’ license agreements to know how the photos can be used and if attribution is required.
Every week, hundreds of high-resolution photos are added to StockSnap.io.
According to Stocksnap.io, each one of their images is released under Creative Commons Zero and can be copied, modified and distributed, including images that will be used commercially. No attribution is required.
They curate photos from around the web, but also have their own network of talented photographers.
All photos are free and have a range of themes and imagery.
15. New Old Stock
New Old Stock is a unique image site in that the photos are vintage and found in public archives.
Per the site owner, Cole Townsend, all photos are available for personal and non-commercial use.
If you want to use them for commercial purposes, you will need to do some homework by looking into the institution’s rights statement (all of this information is explained on the Rights and Usage page of the website).
You can purchase images from pro photo packs on the website, which are available for commercial use.
16. Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons includes a collection of more than 52 million media files that are free to use.
The website has a search function the help locate specific subjects and genres.
According to Wikimedia Commons, the images are available under licenses that are listed on the image description pages.
Gratisography showcases free photos by Ryan McGuire that are offered under the same terms as Creative Commons Zero.
As the photographer puts it, there are some common sense limitations to using the photos, but attribution isn’t required.
18. Life of Pix
Life of Pix offers a relatively small, but beautiful collection of high-resolution images, which can be used for commercial or personal use and do not have copyright restrictions.
SplitShire provides free stock photos and images that can be used for commercial purposes.
According to the website, these images have been used by The Huffington Post, CNN, and thousands of other websites.
Bigfoto has a gallery of images taken by amateur photographers across the world.
Photos are categorized by geographical areas and themes and can be used for commercial or personal use.
Images are royalty-free, but in return they ask that you provide a link to the bigfoto site on your website or blog.
Reshot touts a free exchange of the “world’s best visual content.” Per their website, the contributors range “from seasoned pros to those with a newly-discovered creative spark.”
The images are available for commercial and non-commercial use. In other words, the images include an irrevocable, nonexclusive copyright license to download, copy, modify, distribute, perform, and use photos for free.
StockPhotos.io is a sharing community that has a collection of over 27,000 free photos.
According to StockPhotos.io, “only public domain or Creative Commons licensed photos that are allowed for commercial use are added on this site.”
They advise you to check the licensing of each photo to avoid legal issues.
You can grab some great high-resolution photos on DesignersPics.com, which are taken by Jeshu John.
The images are available for free for commercial or personal use – attribution is not required.
Pixabay has more than 530,000 photos, illustrations, and vectors.
As stated on their website, all images are released under Creative Commons CCO into the public domain and can be used royalty-free, including for commercial purposes. Attribution is not required.
A search feature makes it easy to find what you’re looking for.
Just like the web address indicates, Foodiesfeed is great for all kinds of food photos. If you are looking for an image of food, this site is the perfect niche for you. All the photos are free to download and fall under the Creative Commons Zero license.
Stockfreeimages is owned by Dreamstime.com, a major stock image supplier. The website includes content donated by Dreamstime contributors for free download.
You do need to register for an account (also free) to access the images. The images fall under the Royalty Free license, but if you use one of the images, you need to include an image attribution and/or a link back to Stockfreeimages.com.
FreeImages.co.uk has an index that includes more than 18,000 images in 89 different categories.
The images can be used in printed materials, websites, publications, and other illustration or design projects, but if you use the images on your website, FreeImages.co.uk requires a link or printed credit in return.
Kaboompics provides free stock photos that can be used for both non-commercial and commercial projects.
There are thousands of images to choose from and attribution is not required. Images can also be modified.
StreetWill.co offers vintage photos that are available under the Creative Commons CC0 license.
The site doesn’t have as many categories as some of the others, but the images are unique and visually appealing.
According to the website, there have been more than 1.1 million downloads of the images.
41. ISO Republic
ISO Republic has thousands of images and videos available under the Creative Commons CC0 license.
You can use the search function or view the categories, which range from Animals to Sport to Technology, to find what you’re looking for.
You should be able to find just the image you are looking for on one of these 41 great free photo websites. But if not, many more free photo sites exist.
On Oct. 31, Google announced the launch of its Site Kit WordPress plugin that, “enables you to set up and configure key Google services, get insights on how people find and use your site, learn how to improve, and easily monetize your content.”
This plugin allows you to easily connect the following Google Services in a dashboard format within your WordPress backend:
It brings the convenience of accessing your site’s performance data while logged into the backend of the site. This is great for webmasters, developers and agencies who are often an admin for their own site or a client’s WordPress site. However, it does not offer the robust and dynamic capabilities of a Google Data Studio report or dashboard to sort data so it may not be ideal for a digital marketing manager or CMO.
With that said, it wouldn’t hurt to implement this plugin as it’s actually a nifty tool that can help you stay on top of your site’s performance metrics. It’s also another way to give Google more access to your site which can have some in-direct benefits organically.
Here is what the Google Site Kit plugin looks like within the WordPress plugin directory.
Installing and setting up Google Site Kit
To utilize the plugin, simply click install and activate as you would any other WordPress plugin. You will then be prompted to complete the set up.
Click on the “Start Setup” button.
You will be prompted to give access to your site’s Google Search Console profile, which means you need to sign in to the Gmail account that has access to your site’s Search Console profile.
Once logged in you need to grant permissions for Google to access the data in your Search Console profile.
Once you’ve granted all the respective permissions, you will get a completion notification and can then click on “Go to my Dashboard.”
Once you’re in the Dashboard you will see options to connect other services such as Analytics, AdSense and PageSpeed insights. You can now choose to connect these services if you like. If you go to the settings of the plugin you will see additional connection options for Optimize and Tag Manager.
Here is what the dashboard looks like with Search Console, analytics and PageSpeed Insights enabled. You can see a clear breakdown of the respective metrics.
The plugin allows you to dive into each reporting respectively with navigation options on the left to drill down into Search Console and analytics.
There is also an admin bar feature to see individual page stats.
In summary, this is a great plugin by Google but keep in mind it’s just version 1.0. I’m excited to see what features and integrations the later versions will have!
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.
About The Author
Tony Edward is a director of SEO at Tinuiti and an adjunct instructor of search marketing at NYU. Tony has been in the online marketing industry for over 10 years. His background stems from affiliate marketing and he has experience in paid search, social media and video marketing. Tony is also the founder of the Thinking Crypto YouTube channel.
Bing announced a new link penalties. These link penalties are focused on taking down private blog networks (PBNs), subdomain leasing and manipulative cross-site linking.
Inorganic Site Structure
An inorganic site structure is a linking pattern that uses internal site-level link signals (with subdomains) or cross-site linking patterns (with external domains) in order to manipulate search engine rankings.
While these spam techniques already existed, Bing introduced the concept of calling them “inorganic site structure” in order to describe them.
Bing noted that sites legitimately create subdomains to keep different parts of the site separate, such as support.example.com. These are treated as belonging to the main domain, passing site-level signals to the subdomains.
Bing also said sites like WordPress create standalone sites under subdomains, in which case no site level signals are passed to the subdomains.
Examples of Inorganic Site Structure
An inorganic site structure is when a company leases a subdomain in order to take advantage of site-level signals to rank better. There have been
Private blog networks were also included as inorganic site structure
Bing also introduced the idea of domain boundaries. The idea is that there are boundaries to a domain. Sometimes, as in the case of legitimate subdomains (ex. support.example.com), those boundaries extend out to the subdomain. In other cases like WordPress.com subdomains the boundaries do not extend to the subdomains.
Private Blog Networks (PBNs) Bing called out PBNs as a form of spam that abuse website boundaries.
“While not all link networks misrepresent website boundaries, there are many cases where a single website is artificially split across many different domains, all cross-linking to one another, for the obvious purpose of rank boosting. This is particularly true of PBNs (private blog networks).”
Subdomain Leasing Penalties
Bing explained why they consider subdomain leasing a spammy activity:
“…we heard concerns from the SEO community around the growing practice of hosting third-party content or letting a third party operate a designated subdomain or subfolder, generally in exchange for compensation.
…the practice equates to buying ranking signals, which is not much different from buying links.”
At the time of this article, I still see a news site subdomain ranking in Bing (and Google). This page belongs to another company. All the links are redirected affiliate type links with parameters meant for tracking the referrals.
According to Archive.org the subdomain page was credited to an anonymous news staffer. Sometime in the summer the author was switched to someone with a name who is labeled as an expert, although the content is still the same.
So if Bing is already handing out penalties that means Bing (and Google who also ranks this page) still have some catching up to do.
Bing mentioned sites that are essentially one site that are broken up into multiple interlinking sites. Curiously Bing said that these kinds of sites already in violation of other link spam rules but that additional penalties will apply.
Here’s the kind of link structure that Bing used as an example:
All these sites are interlinking to each other. All the sites have related content and according to Bing are essentially the same site. This kind of linking practice goes back many years. They are traditionally known as interlinked websites. They are generally topically related to each other.
Bing used the above example to illustrate interlinked sites that are really just one site.
That link structure resembles the structure of interlinked websites that belong to the same company. If you’re planning a new web venture, it’s generally a good idea to create a site that’s comprehensive than to create a multitude of sites that are focused on just a small part of the niche.
Curiously, in reference to the above illustration, Bing said that kind of link structure was already in violation of link guidelines and that more penalties would be piled on top of those:
“Fig. 3 – All these domains are effectively the same website. This kind of behavior is already in violation of our link policy.
Going forward, it will be also in violation of our “inorganic site structure” policy and may receive additional penalties.“
It’s good news to hear Bing is improving. Competition between search engines encourage innovation and as Bing improves perhaps search traffic may become more diversified as more people switch to Bing as well as other engines like DuckDuckGo.
Read Bing’s announcement: Some Thoughts on Website Boundaries
Google has released version 1.0 of its Site Kit plugin for WordPress, which means its officially out of beta after 6 months.
In the time since the developer preview of Site Kit was released, Google says it drastically simplified the setup, fixed bugs, and polished the main user flows.
Site Kit allows WordPress users to access data from Google products right from their site’s dashboard. The plugin aggregates data from Google Search Console, Google Analytics, PageSpeed Insights, and AdSense.
With Site Kit there’s no additional code editing required, which makes it easy to set up products like Google Analytics for those without any developer experience.
Anyone can install Site Kit, but Google emphasizes that it’s especially useful for professionals who work on sites for clients. The reasons why include:
Clients and other teams can easily access data from Google products by logging into the WordPress dashboard.
Clients will see performance states and improvement recommendations directly from Google
Site Kit allows you to set roles and permissions and make sure only relevant people can see the data.
To get the most out of Site Kit, Google recommends reviewing the main dashboard on at least a weekly basis. You can also check the stats of individual pages by navigating to the page and clicking on Site Kit in the admin bar.
With this data, Google recommends comparing the top performing pages and seeing how people found them. This can help you discover trends, such as which topics get the most engagement on Twitter, which get the most engagement on Facebook, and so on.
To get started with Site Kit, simply install it from your WordPress dashboard.