Google Notebook Tip #4: Images: Are They Permanent?

(2 minute read)

When clipping an image from a Web page, you need to understand one important concept: Google will nicely display images that you clip, but Google does not actually store the image files in your Google Notebook. It only stores an HTML link to that image on the Web. Read on to see how to manage this, and why this is important…

Because Google only stores a link to the image on the Web, if the Web site moves or removes the image, it will no longer display in your Google Notebook. Google Notebook will display an outline of the image with a "broken image" icon in the corner as a placeholder. This is simply a side effect of the dynamic nature of the Web.

Unfortunately, there are no specific rules on the Web concerning who keeps what content, and for how long. Some images have been around for years, and will continue to be around for years. But many images come and go frequently. The reality is that any image you see today may or may not be available tomorrow.

While this may seem like a bad thing, there are cases where it could have an interesting positive effect. For example, if a Web site "rotates" images periodically, your Google Notebook will display the most recent image. For example, say you clip a page from a cartoon site that displays a different cartoon each day. As long as the image on the page is named the same, your Google Notebook will dynamically update as the site updates giving you fresh and new content every day.

As a point of note, like all Web content, just don't expect images clipped into Google Notebook to remain there permanently. If you must retain an image permanently, I suggest saving the image locally and then uploading it to a more permanent archive such as Flickr or Google's Picasa Web, or to your own Web site. You could then clip THAT image, and it will remain permanent in your Google Notebook. Just don't get stung by a false sense of permanency when dealing with any Web content.

Note: This only affects images–Web site text is stored locally in your Google Notebook and is fully editable.