With an image search engine, you can sort through and find a great selection of images you can use in your online store. By learning how to search images on Google, you’ll be able to find images labelled for reuse that you can use to for your logo, website banner, blog post, or even your Facebook ad. In this article, you’ll learn why you should use an image reverse tool, what the best image search engines are, and much more.
- What Is an Image Search Engine?
- The Best Image Search Engines
- What is Reverse Image Search?
- How to Reverse Image Search?
- Why Use an Image Reverse Tool
- Best Image Search Tools
- How to Reverse Image Search on Mobile?
- Best Reverse Image Search Apps
- Rules Before Using An Image
- Want to Learn More?
What Is an Image Search Engine?
An image search engine is a database of images that can be searched through the use of keywords, so that users can find valuable images. Google’s image search engine is the most comprehensive and famous image search engine today and was created on July 12, 2001.
In 2001 Google noticed a huge search demand for a specific query that it’s regular search could not do justice for. This demand was for Jennifer Lopez’s green Versace dress, and Google noticed that an image result would be much better than the text results that were delivered back then.
The Best Image Search Engines
There are many image search engines in the world. Some are very broad and all encompassing, like Google and Yahoo, and some are niche and confined, like HONMedia. What these websites all have in common is a database of images that can be searched through using keywords, tags, or topics.
The best in the market are the ones that can provide the best match to a search query, and also have a large enough database to cater for their audience.
Google Image Search Engine
Have you always wanted to know how to search images on Google? Using Google Images you can search for images to use for your website, blog, ads, and other marketing content. While not all images found in Google images can be used for commercial purposes without permission, Google Images has an extensive collection for you to sort through.
As the best image search engine in the market, you’ll find the most extensive collection of pictures on Google Images than any other platform. You can search for specific products such as kitchen utensils, or niches like running, which you can use in your business.
To Google image search efficiently, store owners should sort through images that can be used for reuse/commercial purposes to ensure that they have permission to use the images they select.
How does Google image search work? With Google Images, you can sort through images of specific sizes, color, what type of image it is, and more, by simply typing in keywords. You can then sort images by their license by clicking Tools then Usage Rights. You’ll want to use an image that’s labeled for reuse. Images under that section can be used for blog posts, ads, or other marketing activities. You’ll notice that most of the images in these sections come from a variety of free stock photo sites.
Yahoo Image Search Engine
Yahoo Image Search comes in second place as one of the best image search engines because you can find great images for every niche. When you type your niche into the search bar you’ll be shown a variety of images. You’ll want to change the license, see top right corner, to include ‘free to share and use commercially’ or you can choose ‘free to modify, share and use commercially’ if you plan to modify images in any way. You’ll find professional lifestyle images, images on white backgrounds, graphics and more which you can use on your store.
Bing Image Search Engine
Bing Image Search is similar to Google Images and Yahoo Images so it’s another great picture search engine you can use to source images. Type your niche or what you need an image of into the Bing Image search bar. You’ll notice on the far right hand side there’s a Filter button. When you click it, you’ll see a dropdown appear. Click on License. You’ll want to choose images that are free for commercial use or Creative Commons.
What is Reverse Image Search?
Reverse image search is a search engine technology that makes it possible for a user to input an image file as a search query and return results that are related to that image. Image search is when a user is able to find images related to the search term that they have typed.
Most search engines offer image search, and it can be very helpful for a user looking for images relating to their search. But in the case that you have an image and you are wanting to dig deeper into it, maybe get to know where it originated, or find similar images relating to the one that you have.
How to Reverse Image Search?
You can do this fairly easily on desktop using the Google Reverse Image Search option. All you have to do is:
- Go to images.google.com,
- Click the camera icon that is appearing in the search bar,
- Then paste in the URL of an image that you have seen somewhere online, or
- You can manually upload an image from your computer that you have saved, or
- Drag an image from another window.
Why Use an Image Reverse Tool
As an online store owner, you’ll likely want to use an image reverse tool for competitive research and to protect your business. An image reverse tool can help give you a competitive advantage as it allows you to see other brands that are selling your product. You’ll likely be using the same images as several other brands. You’ll be able to see which other websites are using the same photos and therefore selling the same product.
The second reason is that it allows you to see if your images belong to another owner. Some suppliers use images without permission. This can pose a problem for dropshippers who use the images and create ads. With an image reverse tool, you can browse through websites using the image to determine where the source of the image comes from. For the most part, suppliers do use their own images for most products on their product pages. However, it’s important to do your due diligence when importing images to your store.
By being able to locate the source of an image through reverse photo search, you can get to know more details about the image that you’re searching for. You can also use these tools to understand where that image has been used previously across the web. You can keep an eye out for plagiarism, in case you’re concerned that the images you have created are being used elsewhere without permission.
Another practical use for the tool is being able to find higher resolution versions of images you already have. You simply have to upload your image and check the results for similar images.
Best Image Search Tools
Oberlo’s reverse image search tool is simple to use and is free for every user. All you have to do is place an image in the search bar instead of text (like you normally would) and search for similar images. It works in two different ways. You can either upload a picture manually, or you can use a web URL of an image to find similar images. To upload an image, you can simply drag and drop, regardless of the type and size of the file. You can upload .jpg, .png, .bmp, .tif, .ico, or .gif files. Once you’ve uploaded your image or pasted your image URL, all you have to do is click on “Search Similar Images”. Within seconds you’ll see all the relevant websites that have similar images that match your image search query. The results displayed will be from three different search engines: Google, Bing, and Yandex.
CTRLQ is a Google tool that allows you to upload your photo onto the platform and find who else has posted your image. After you upload an image, you can click “Show Matches” to find other websites with your picture. You’ll be directed to Google’s search page where you’ll be shown your exact picture on other websites.
To use this tool you’ll need to add the image link to the search bar to find a selection of websites and stores selling the same product as you. Over 19 billion images have been searched for on the platform since its inception making it a great resource for store owners.
PicSearch has a collection of 3 billion images it’s no wonder its one of the best image search engines. The image search engine sources pictures from a variety of websites. You can choose from lifestyle pictures to stock photos. You’ll still need to obtain permission to use the images on the platform as per the disclaimer on the footer of their website. However, you’ll know which website the pictures come from making it easy to contact for permission.
- Creative CommonsCreative Commons is one of the most extensive image collections making it to the list of the best image search engines. You’ll be able to search images from a range of picture search engines such as Google Images, Flickr, Wikimedia Commons, Pixabay, and more. Whether you’re looking for a picture that represents your niche or of a famous celebrity, you’ll find images you’ll be able to use for your marketing.
- Photo PinPhoto Pin is one of the best image search engines. You’ll be able to find free images you can use that have a Creative Commons license. The pictures are popular among bloggers and creatives which means you’ll be able to use them within your marketing. When sorting through images you can choose from a Commercial or a Non-Commercial license. As a store owner, you’ll want to have Commercial licensed checked and uncheck non-commercial so you only see images you can use. You’ll be able to search images for most niches from fidget spinners to fitness.
Yandex is another free website with a large database of images to search. As the most popular search engine in Russia but small compared to its competitors, Yandex only shows where images are being used and a list of different sizes. If the database has nothing to satisfy the exact search it will show similar images to the use. Reverse image search on Yandex is similar to Google. Simply click on the camera icon and either upload an image or search through a URL.
- Pinterest Visual Search
Pinterest visual search tool is a fun thing to play with. Different to most other tools you can zoom into a section of an image and reverse search this to find similar images, or pins. The fact that you don’t need to search the whole image makes this a very intriguing tool, but to use it you need to sign in to Pinterest and start pinning things.
How to Reverse Image Search on Mobile?
To do a reverse image Search on Mobile you need to open images.google.com on your mobile, you might notice that the camera sign that appears on the desktop version does not appear on the mobile version. In this case you have a few options if you want to carry out the search on your mobile.
As of now, your mobile does not support a traditional reverse-image search. The camera icon does not appear on the mobile version like it does on web, so there is no way to upload an image for a reverse search on mobile. But there are other ways that you can use the Chrome browser app for iOS and Android.
Hold your finger down on the image that you want to search, until a pop-up menu appears. Click on the option “Search Google For This Image” that is at the bottom.
This option will not work in the Google app or other browsers. If this option is not working, then you can also select the “Open Image” option and then copy the URL. After that you can go back to images.google.com, and paste in the URL. The results will then appear, with options for you to narrow your search query and make it more specific such as, if you are looking for animated GIFs, clipart equivalents, or by looking at the colour scheme in the original image.
Bing, which is the second largest search engine, also carries out reverse image searches. Unlike Google, Bing allows you to carry out the reverse search for your own personal images. When you click on the camera icon, you are presented with the option to take a photo, or upload one from your camera roll, or from a third-party service like Dropbox or Google Drive. Once you have decided to pick one it uploads and shows you results.
On the mobile version it asks you to “Snap or upload a pic to search for similar images”. This is accompanied by a warning that Microsoft might use your pictures to improve its services.
In the case that you have images on your mobile that you want to reverse search, let’s say it’s a picture of a certain type of ingredient or cuisine that you’re looking for, in this case you could upload the image in some way to the internet and then use Chrome on your smartphone and perform all the steps of reverse image search. However, an easier way would be to use https://reverse.photos.
For this you simply need to tap on upload picture. You will then have the choice to upload a picture from your Photo Library, take a new picture, upload from iCloud Drive, Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, or any other service you have running that stores images on your smartphone. Once you’ve uploaded the image, you need to click on “Show Matches” (or upload another image). You’ll then see results from Google to match with your image.
Best Reverse Image Search Apps
In the case that you prefer using apps for reverse search, we’ve compiled a list of apps for you to rely on when you want to carry out your search.
Search by Image is an app available on Android that helps you find similar images or pictures using either Google, Tineye, or Yandex reverse image search engine. With over 500K downloads, it’s simple and fast to use, and shows you results from multiple search engines at the same time. Search by Image supports camera to capture the image, and also allows you to easily edit the image before searching. With the Image editor you can easily rotate the image, flip it horizontally or vertically, and crop the image. Additionally, you have the option of opening shared images from other apps like Facebook, Twitter, your browser, etc., without having to save them. This app is helpful to use not only to search similar images but also to discover if an image is modified, fake, or original. Or if you have to check if an image is new or just an old one available on the web.
This app lets you search by images with the help of Google Reverse Search Engine. The app is mainly used to verify the source of photographs, WhatsApp images, Instagram images, screenshots, and even memes. With this app you can search by image, photo, or even a picture using your camera. Also, you have the option of editing the image before searching. With over a 100K downloads, it’s a simple and easy way to reverse search your images.
This app provides search by image taken from your camera or an existing image in your gallery. Similar to the other apps, Photo Sherlock can be useful to find information about photos on Google, for example to detect the real owner or a photo from social network, or if you want to check if a photo is fake or original. It’s quite simple to use, with basic image searching functions, and allows you to crop the image before searching.
Rules Before Using An Image
Oberlo allows you to import images from AliExpress in one click. And while most suppliers have their own product images on their platform, some use customer images or images that belong to another company. It can sometimes be difficult to know who owns the copyright to the image you import to your store.
You can use tools like TinEye and other image reverse tools to try to find the source of who created an image. Or when it doubt, you could take your own product photos to protect your business from any lawsuits. You could choose to take your own pictures or hire someone to do take your product photography.
When using images for your blog content or ads, be sure to look at the image license. For example, if you want to use an image from Google Images, you’ll need to make sure that the image has been labelled for commercial reuse. Otherwise, you won’t have permission to use the photo. You can also buy photos from stock image websites to ensure that you have the rights to use the photo for your marketing.
Be mindful of using product images for ads. While the images from a supplier can be great at converting for your store, if someone claims that you’re using their photo without permission you might be asked to remove it.
Want to Learn More?
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Which are your favorite picture search engines? Do you prefer using images from a search engine or stock photo websites? Let us know in the comments section!