How using Google Images can cost you $8,000

Use images you know you have permission to use in your blog posts or you could end up getting hit with a lawsuit.

Ragan Insider Content

This is a lesson we recently learned the hard way, and if you have (or contribute to) a blog, you might want to read our story so that you never, ever make the same mistake we did.

We write thousands of blogs every year for our clients and agency partners. Our editorial standards are obnoxiously high, and we do our best to write the best Web content our clients (and their competitors) have ever seen. Although we try to catch everything, occasionally a mistake sneaks by us. Recently we made a very costly mistake, and I think it’s one that every blogger and business owner should be aware of.

It all started when one of our writers posted a blog to a client’s site—it was about finding great deals in Omaha, Neb., complete with an altogether underwhelming photo of the city, which may or may not have been taken by a drunken college student with a camera phone in 2005. You wouldn’t see this photo and immediately go book a vacation there, is what I’m saying.

Anyway, it wasn’t an especially popular post, and we could prove via Google Analytics that fewer than 100 people read it.

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