Ever stumbled upon a really awesome picture of a new car or bike, you’re unaware of? And you desire to read more about it but can’t, as you don’t know what is it or the monogram is not clearly visible in the picture. Well then, at these times, most of us do nothing but give up. We are not really aware of the reverse image search engines.
Reverse image search engines are those special kind of search engines where you don’t need to input any keyword to find pictures. Instead, you have to put a picture and the engine finds the images similar to one you entered. Thus, you can get to know everything you wish to, just with the help of one picture. But, as accustomed, reverse image lookup engines haven’t been able to make the desirable impact in this era of internet. Half of the netizens, well let’s be fair, almost 70%,people are still unknown to this service. But, this doesn’t mean that these web services are not up to the mark but there has been lack of publicity which led reverse search engines to the virtual pariah. Moreover, very less people find that tool necessary and thus they have been overlooking it since its inception.
But then, nevertheless, let’s talk about some of the best options we have in this category.
10 Best Reverse Image search engines
TinEye is a product of Idee Inc., a Toronto based company. It has been the most popular and widely used reverse search engine till date. TinEye, as per their claims is the first website ever to use the image identification technology. To use this service, you have to upload the desired image or provide its link and command the tool to hunt for similar pictures. The upload size is limited to 1 MB. You can’t upload pics beyond that. TinEye doesn’t recognize the persons or objects in the picture, but it recognizes the entire picture as a whole. It can also be used to track down illegal use of copyrighted images or the stolen ones. Thus, a very useful search engine.
Google images is another widely used website to search images. Introduced a decade ago, Google images have the largest database than most of the other sites. The mechanism of reverse photo search here is via uploading an image from your computer or pasting the link of the image in the search bar itself, it works equally well both ways. Google images use algorithms based on various attributes like shape, size, color and resolution to get the similar pictures.
Multi-Service image search engine is exactly similar except they have the many services, at least to say. You can search images following the similar procedures like above sites. Just that, here you get to include the places that you want to include in your image search. The search engine supports files in JPG, JPEG, GIF format and the maximum limit to upload one photo is 8192 KB.
4. Image Raider
Image Raider is another reverse image lookup engine worth mentioning. Though, you can’t compare it with Google Images because it uses Google search results to provide end results. But there are some additional features which makes this tool noticeable. Image Raider lets you input more than one image at a time, which means you can run a multi reverse image search by using this tool. Hence, it saves a lot of time.
Secondly, unlike other picture finder tools where you have only two options for imputing images (via URL or by directly uploading from the computer), here you have multiple options for providing input image:
- Add image from XML sitemap
- Add URL of a page and this tool will fetch all the images from that page and use them as input for running the search.
- You can simply add images directly from your Flickr, DevianArt or 500px account.
If you are a designer or a photographer then you can use this tool to track websites where your work has been published without your permission or without proper attribution. Accuracy of search results is satisfactory and interface is easy to understand. This tool is worth giving a try.
Yandex, Russia’s largest search engine also have a reverse photo search tool of its own. Yandex images lets you input the image via URL or by uploading directly from the computer. You can also filter search results by file type (JPEG, GIF, PNG) or by size (Small, medium, large, wallpaper or custom). Yandex developed this search engine to track duplicate images.
China’s biggest search giant Baidu also offers reverse image search tool. Here, you can search using pictures but the results are not as accurate as provided by other search engines.
7. Karma Decay
Karma Decay is a reverse photograph search engine exclusively for Reddit. It’s a very handy tool to save yourself from re-posting the same content again on Reddit because Redditors do not like re-posts at all. Though, It searches for the image in all popular subreddits but if you want to limit the search to a particular subreddit, you can do that too. A simple and useful tool.
Here is how to do reverse image search on mobile and smartphone with the help of apps.
Reverse image search apps for Android:
1. Google Goggles
Goggles Goggles is another amazing app from Google that let’s find images by giving an input image instead of text. What makes this app stand out from others is it’s lucid interface, amazing service, high quality results and smart algorithm implemented in searching.
2. TinEye + Google
This app is much similar to Google Goggles except for the fact that it also allows you to search the results on TinEye. You can provide input from three sources: Gallery, Camera and URL. You can also share the results’ URL with your friend and family.
Unravl is yet another app that you can use for reverse pic search. It provides you with all the amazing features that other two apps provide. The standout thing about this app is it allows you to crop or rotate your input image so that you can get images similar to only a particular portion of input image.
Reverse image search apps for Windows Phone
1. Reverse Image Search (App)
It is one of the finest app on the windows platform fur reverse image search. It allows you to use your favorite search engines viz Google, Bing, TinEye or Yandex. You can also upload photos from your camera or album or by URL. This app also provide an additional opportunity of cropping the image before entering it into the search box.
Note: Some of the above mentioned apps for Android are also available for iOS, so you can also run a reverse image search on your iPhone as well.
Reverse Image Search Add-ons for Prominent Browsers
1. Google Reverse Image Search (Firefox)
Google reverse image search allows you to search relative images from the large database of Google Images. It’s quite useful as an add-on as it saves your significant amount of time.
2. Search by Image for Google (Chrome)
Search by Image is a very simple tool. All you’ve to do is right click on the image, then the tool gathers all its information from the source and allows you to search similar images or provides you same image in higher resolution.
3. TinEye Reverse Image Search (Plugin)
TinEye plugin comes with a context menu item that allows you to search for an image, provides its source, its type of uses, modified versions and higher resolution versions. It is available for Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari and Opera.
Well, though there are so many services that offer reverse image search, the concept itself is not so popular. People may be aware about it, but not it’s uses and applications. And clearly they have no idea about how searching by image is one of the most useful services on internet.
Let’s list out some of the prominent uses of reverse image search
1. Find Similar Images
Very frequently you are in need of similar images of any image but you’ve no idea about what to enter as a search query. Or even after doing so, the normal search engine sometimes show irrelevant results. In these scenarios, reverse image search engines prove to be of great help.
For instance, a blogger or a social media manager, who is in need of a similar image can use this service to get best results. You can apply the desired filters and get more precise results. Sometimes you can also find the high resolution versions of the same picture you entered as a search query. Moreover, from the bloggers’ point of view, similar images section is an important one, as they can find different sizes of an image. Thus, reverse image search prove to be of great use professionally.
2. Know Unknown Things
There’d be many instances where you’d want to know more about the things you only have pictures of. For example let’s say, you like a particular gadget and you’ve no information about it. Then, you can use reverse image search to solve your query. All you’ve to do is snap the pic of that gadget and carry out a search. You’ll get variety of similar images and the web places they’re taken from. You can head over there to check out more information of that gadget.
Similarly, if you like the shirt, one of your friend is wearing and you wish to have one for yourself, then you can carry out a similar image search. The pictures in search results will redirect you to the websites selling that particular shirt.
3. False rumour alert
One of the several things that malign the social media is it is often used to spread false rumours and baseless information. Many such cases happen every day that spread discontent among the people as a result. But, if you want to be bit careful, reverse image search engines can help you.
So next time you find a dubious image with a surprising caption, do carry out a reality check on reverse image search engines to find its credibility. This way, you can stop all the wrong content from getting viral. You can also use this service to find out if the particular social media profile is fake or a genuine one.
4. Gaining insights of your work
The service can also be helpful in providing insights of your work.
Suppose, you’re a professional photographer with a good presence on social media and you upload your photos on regular basis. Then you can use this service to check out if your content is being plagiarised or used without your consent. The search result will redirect you to all the websites that have uploaded this image, this giving you complete information about your photographs.
Alternatively, if you’re a technical person and you upload several infographics as a part of your work, you can use this service to track down illegal use your images. You can easily find out if your images are being used without crediting you or giving the backlinks and thus take necessary action against these activities.
So, this was out list of some of the best reverse image search services and their prominent uses. But if we missed out on anything or for any suggestions, do drop in your comments.