It is always recommended to create your own content in order to rank high in search engine. However, it will be almost impossible for retailers and affiliates to create original content every time, especially in case of images. So, whether pictures are considered as a duplicate content, will be one of the common doubts that are haunting most people who are in the online marketing and SEO field. This doubt is really prominent now, as Google is becoming more and more vigilant each day and growing very smart in discovering duplicated content.
According to Google, “Duplicate content generally refers to substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar.” With every passing day, Google algorithms are becoming smarter and smarter to figure out the sites that are copying the content from other websites. The main criterions that are considered to determine the duplication include similar context, spotting texts that match with others, a similar order of context, etc.
There are times though, when you will have to copy the text from other sites, such as some quote or speech. In such cases, you can use them giving appropriate credit to that particular site using the <blockquote> tag so that it is not considered as duplication. In fact, the usage of this tag is increasing more these days, and it is a good option to rank high in search engines if used in the right way.
It is a big question whether Google or other search engines will be able to spot similar images that are located in different domains with different names. The answer to that is Yes, they can; in fact, there is a ‘Search by Image’ option in Google as well that reads the image and finds the tags related to it.
Anyhow, you might not be penalized for copying an image, as there are numerous reasons to use the similar image on different websites. Still, it will be hard to figure out those reasons for each and every situation. For instance, if you are the owner of an online site that sells the products of various brands, you can use the authentic images of those brands for marketing and you will not be penalized for that.
Besides, using stock library images and infographics of other sites to your own with a credit link to the author or creator is a good practice in Google’s eyes. Yet on the contrary, some websites are also penalized for copying the image; this is when a site uses any authentic image of another website in an unauthorized manner. This is usually termed as copyright infringement and is illegal.