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I've noticed that many computer hardware websites watermark substantial portions of "exclusive" images, rather than just place a logo in the corner of the image. An example is the GPU chip image in this VideoCardz.com article.

To what extent should I take extra precautionary measures regarding "exclusive" images of this nature? Should I use full-image watermarks of this kind? How might this affect SEO?

Remember, I'm looking for expertise, not mere opinion.

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Watermarks are excellent. Some image editors allow you to embed copyright data into the image that is extremely difficult to remove since it is interspersed within the image data. You can optionally register this trademark data with a registry though it is not necessary.

I have used http://www.smalleranimals.com/thumb.htm to do this for me in the past. It is an extraordinary little program that is simply the best I have ever seen. These guys know what they are doing! You can bulk modify images very quickly too. The price is extremely low and has not changed for well over a decade. You can use the tool in trial mode which I suggest. It does take a bit to get into, however, it is not difficult to understand get fantastic result from. As well, I do not think there is anything you cannot do with this tool.

Watermarking an image has no effect on SEO what so ever. Search engines do not examine images by choice.

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Watermark. Pretty much anything else, and I can do a screenshot of the entire page in my web-browser and just crop it.

Watermarks need to hit a sweet spot of not offending the user by abstracting the image. While to letting anyone easily fixing them and removing the watermark in an image editor. The more you practice the easier you will find it to hit that "sweet spot".

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