Google Reverse Image Search

It is easy to do an image search of a term and find images that are closely related to the term you entered. Almost all search engines can perform this function, but are you able to know the origin of the image provided or an image you intend to use? That’s what a reverse image search does.

What Is a Google Reverse Image Search?

According to Wikipedia, A reverse image search is a is “a content-based image retrieval (CBIR) query technique that involves providing the CBIR system with a sample image that it will then base its search upon; in terms of information retrieval, the sample image is what formulates a search query.”

With this information in mind, Google reverse image search, therefore, enables you to discover images around the web that are visually similar to the one you have uploaded. You are not only shown visually similar images but also different sizes of the same photo and websites related to the image’s subject.

Interestingly, you’re not restricted to uploading an image only as you can also place a link to an image in the Google browser and get the same results.

Uses of a Google Reverse Image Search

  • To find more information about a particular aspect of the photo that is not communicated clearly from the photo or its subject. Doing this search could provide websites related to the subject of the photo or those that have used it. This way, you will find the extra information you need.
  • Expose plagiarism. As mentioned earlier, the reverse image search will bring up similar or related images of the one uploaded. This is an easy way of discovering the source of the picture and is very crucial before using a copyrighted picture. Journalists use the search mostly for this purpose. Moreover, photographers gain from this as they can know websites using their photographs illegally or without their permission.
  • Google search image search is also relevant when finding a similar image to what you have. This is important when you want to use different but related images in your work.

How to Do a Google Reverse Image Search from a Computer

Doing an image search from a computer is more accessible than in any other device.

There are two main ways of searching images on the web using a computer.

  • Upload the chosen image into the browser
  • Copying the URL of the selected image to the web browser

Follow the simple steps below when searching an image from your files.

  • Go to Google images
  • Click the camera icon (   to start the reverse image search process
  • Select the tab for uploading the image
  • Select ‘Choose File’ to pick the image you want to search.
  • Alternatively, you can drag and drop the image into the browser window.

google image reverse search

 

You can also copy the URL to do the search using the following steps.

  • Open the image you want to search and right-click on it
  • Copy its image address
  • Open google images
  • Click the camera icon to start the reverse image search process
  • Select the tab for pasting image URL
  • Paste the URL
  • Click the button for ‘Search by image’

reverse google image search

Google Reverse Image Search on Android and iOS

The function for Google reverse image search is also available on phones and tablets. In this case, when you open the browser you will not see the camera icon. To get the camera icon, you will be needed to have the desktop version on your mobile device.

Google Reverse Image Search on Chrome

  • Look for your chosen image in the browser
  • Tap on the image and hold it until a menu of options to select pops up
  • Tap on the option for searching Google for that image (Search Google for this image)
  • You will now get the search results of the image.

Google Reverse Image Search on Android

Consider the image you intend to search was sent by someone, and you have already downloaded it on your android phone. There are simple steps that you can use to search for the image. It’s, however, a bit more hassle than the previous methods. This method of Google search can work with any browser.

  • Visit the Google images page in your browser
  • As mentioned earlier you will need to have the desktop version on your phone, so you need to have it ready. To get the desktop version in Chrome, there are three dots at the top right, tap on them to open the More option
  • Select the option of Desktop site

  • Click on the camera icon to start the reverse image search process
  • Select the tab for uploading the image
  • Select the image and upload it. You can now get your results after this step.

 

Google Reverse Image Search on iPhone

The above process can be used in iOS; however, the route is a little different.  Use the following steps

  • Visit the Google images page in your browser
  • You will also need to have the desktop version on your phone, so you need to have it ready. To get the desktop version in Safari, with the arrow pointing up, tap on the icon This will open the share options.
  • The option for requesting a desktop site is usually among the bottom options. Scroll along and select it.
  • Click on the camera icon to start the reverse image search process
  • Select the tab for uploading the image
  • Select the image and upload it. You can now get your results after this step.

Relevancy of Google Reverse Image Search

Regardless of an image having a caption or not, with the above steps, Google can find the content related to the picture. This also applies to when URLs are used. The question is, how relevant are the Google search results?

It’s worth noting that the results will be dependent on the popularity of the content in the image and how often they appear on popular sites. Consequently, when the image is a famous personality or landmark, the search results are likely to be very relevant. On the other hand, when the content of the image is unpopular or unknown, the search results are likely to be less appropriate or not relevant at all.

Finally

Don’t get caught up by using copyrighted images without the permission of the source. Use the above simple steps to Google reverse search your images and understand their origin. You will then use the images accordingly for the best results.  More Google products click here.

 

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