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How to Use Google Search by Images - Reverse Photo Search

Updated on August 15, 2013
Find similar images buy using the Google Reverse Image Search
Find similar images buy using the Google Reverse Image Search

Recently a friend of mine introduced me to a fabulous tool…the Google Search by Image. Now, let’s not confuse the Google Search by Image with doing a Google image search. Google Search by Image allows you to upload an image into Google and see all the websites that contain that particular image. It also will give you similar images to the one you upload. Basically it’s a reverse image search…put image in…see results. With it, you search by image, not by text.

I actually used this once when I was an administrator of a facebook group. There was a woman who was causing lots of problems within the group. When things got really heated, many people were coming to me saying she wasn't the person she was claiming to be; they believed that even her profile picture wasn't her. At first I thought they were all just petty accusations, but eventually the masses couldn't be quieted, and I decided to do some research into the gal. I plopped her profile picture into the Google reverse image search and found that the person had stolen images from a radio talk show host from Canada and claimed them to be her own. After speaking with her, I had to kick her out of the group. I was glad at the time that the Google reverse image search existed so that I could do the research I needed.

If you’re asking yourself why on earth you’d ever want to perform a Google Search by Image, let me give you a few examples:

  • Online writers may want to see the backlinks their articles.
  • You can use it to identify flowers, plants, birds, animals or any kind of wildlife.
  • Photographers can see if an image of theirs has been stolen or is being used without their permission.
  • It can be used to identify specific places or people.

Of course, Google Search by Image isn’t infallible. It can’t identify every image. BUT, imagine putting in an image of a beautiful flower you found on garden walk. You don’t know what it is, but you MUST have it in your garden. Take a picture of the flower, upload it to Google Image Search and let Google do a reverse photo search for you.

Searching by image is easy.   Here's how it works.
Searching by image is easy. Here's how it works.

To use the Google Search By Image tool:

  1. Go to Google
  2. Type in any old thing in the search engine and search
  3. Once your list comes up, click on the “Images” tab.
  4. In the search bar, you click on the camera icon.
  5. Click on “Upload Image” (if you want to search by a picture already on the internet, just put in the URL at this point)
  6. Click the button that says, “Choose File”, and then find the image on your computer.
  7. Once you’ve selected your image, click on “Open”
  8. Let Google work its magic.

As an example, I put in an image from one of my hubs “How to Make a Terra Cotta Flower Tower.” Below are the results. As you can see, Google correctly identified my image as a terra cotta pot tower. It also, showed several pictures from the hub in the “Visually Similar Images.”

Google Reverse Image Search
Google Reverse Image Search

By scrolling down a bit, I can see all the links to the image. It looks very similar to any Google search, but instead it show you links by image. See picture below for those results.

All in all, the Google Search by Image is a great tool. It’s just one more way for Google to help you find more information…as I’ve said to myself time and time again…”I’ll just Google it.”


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    • jaanu01 profile image

      Vishal Meetoo 

      4 years ago from Mauritius

      small and concise

    • Bay Nhe profile image

      Bay Nhe 

      6 years ago

      Thank for great post.

    • profile image

      Md Shah Alam 

      6 years ago from Netrakona, Bangladesh

      Nice tips shared. You. It will help me to find related or other images from my storage images on pc which i collected from my friend.

    • Krysanthe profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathy Hull 

      6 years ago from Bloomington, Illinois

      Thanks Wonder wool and CyclingFitness!

      Actually, the terra cotta pot picture hasn't been stolen, they are all backlinks to my hub. Now, I can't say that I've checked them all, but the one's I've checked all link back to my hub. I choose that image specifically for this hub because I knew there would be a lot of different places it where would be backlinked.

    • CyclingFitness profile image

      Liam Hallam 

      6 years ago from Nottingham UK

      Nice introduction to what could be an interesting tool to check for copywrite infringements on hub images and personal blogs etc.

      Out of curiosity is the terracotta pot image you searched for one that is in free circulation? Or has it heen effectively stolen for use by other websites? (Maybe i'm seeing the negative aspects of such a search?)

    • Wonder wool profile image

      Priyanka Estambale 

      6 years ago from United States



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