How to Do a Reverse Image Search Smartly in 2023
By: Shreoshe Ghosh
Updated On: November 18, 2022
There have been a lot of upgrades in the last few years, especially from Google around how image search results are displayed. Google Lens has been a melting pot for most of these tests and of course, the Google Image Search feature has also seen quite a lot of quirky feature additions.
In this blog, we are going to cover in-depth Reverse Image Search. Though the term might seem complicated, you might have already used this feature at least once in your life without knowing that you are actually doing a reverse image lookup.
Image search usually works when you enter a keyword and then Google retrieves images that are relevant to the search query. But what if you just don’t know what you are looking for?
For example, you are browsing through a garden care page and you stumble upon an image of a plant that looks so exotic. But you don’t know the name of the plant.
You cannot go on Google Image search or Google Search and literally type “a plant with green leaves, red flowers” because there are thousands of plants that share the same description you have provided.
But there’s another kind of advanced image search that lets you find similar photos, find the original image with original source, locate a similar image, or fact-check the authenticity of an image: it is called a reverse image search.
What is Reverse Image Search?
A reverse image search is a smart feature within Google and other search engines where you can upload an image and try to find similar images and other relevant details about it without having to type a word in the search query box.
A reverse photo search will show you a list of search results similar to text-based search queries but it will list down the pages that contain similar images like the one you are looking for.
Performing a reverse image search allows you to find the origin of any image on the web. In addition, you can also find where else the image has been used on the internet, get different sizes of the image, and get suggestions for similar images.
Reverse image search can be performed on most search engines, including Google, Bing and Yahoo. But, first, let me take you through the process of reverse photo search on Google using your desktop.
How to do a reverse photo search on a PC or Mac?
It just takes seconds to run a reverse photo lookup on a PC or Mac. I’ll tell you how to do it on popular browsers as well as other search engines.
How to do a Reverse Image Search Using Google Image Search Tool
This method is applicable when you have a browser open on your desktop and you’ve identified an image to upload or link to on the Google Images search page.
- Go to the Google Images home page.
In the search bar, click on the camera icon. You’ll get 2 options within the Search by image popup
- First, you can paste an image URL you found on the web inside search by image, and
- Second, you can upload image from your computer and conduct a reverse photo lookup.
- Then, click on “search” to get the results displayed
How to do a Reverse Image Search on Desktop Using Chrome Browser
If you use the Chrome browser for your desktop, there is an easy method to conduct a reverse image search.
This method works when you are already browsing an image on a web page opened in the Chrome browser.
Proceed the way mentioned below:
- Choose the image on the web page for which you want to do a reverse image search.
- Right-click on the image and select “Search Google for Image.
3. Google will then display the results of your search as above.
How to do a Reverse Image Search on Desktop Using Bing Search Engine?
Besides Chrome, Bing is another search engine that’s popularly used for browsing. Bing, in fact, has its own reverse image search feature, called Visual Search.
Below, I’ll tell you how it works.
In the Bing search bar, click on the Visual Search icon to open a pop-up menu.
- You’ll get 3 options to choose from.
- First, Upload- this option allows you to drag and drop an image into the search bar or upload an image from your computer. Note here that you can upload more than one image at a time.
- Second, URL- conduct a reverse image search by pasting an image URL.
- Third, Take a Photo- You can use this option to click an image using your webcam.
- Choose your preferred method and view the results.
Bing Visual Search offers you image attributes, displays similar images, and suggests searches besides listing the pages where your image can be found.
How to do a Reverse Image Search on Desktop Using Search Engine Yandex?
Yandex is yet another popular browser to perform a reverse image search on a computer. Here’s how to do it:
- Go to Yandex homepage and select the “images” tab from the list of menus above the search bar
- Click on the camera icon next to the search bar, which will give you two options.
- First, upload a file from your computer or simply drag and drop an image.
- Second, enter an image URL.
- Click on search to get your results.
Yandex’s reverse image search feature will display information about the image you are searching for, such as size, similar image suggestions, and info about web pages containing the image and potential images it is related to.
As you can see, Google Bing and Yandex have very similar search by image features.
How to do a Reverse Image Search on Desktop Using Third-Party Websites?
In addition to the popular browsers mentioned above for a reverse image search, there are a handful of other sites that specialize in the same.
I’ll recommend one such tool for you; Tineye.com.
Tineye works similar to Google reverse image search, you can upload an image or paste an image URL.
The tool offers paid functionality using which you can track an image’s usage and other additional details. Tineye.com also has a plugin that works on some browsers.
Another tool that I’ll recommend to you is SmallSEOtools.com, which works very similar to Tineye.com and Google reverse image search.
How to do a Reverse Image Search on a Mobile Device?
Performing a reverse image search on mobile devices is a little different from browsing it on desktops.
On Apple and Android devices, you need the Google Chrome app installed in order to conduct a reverse image search otherwise it won’t work on other mobile browsers.
How to do a Reverse Image Search on the Google Chrome App?
As the Chrome app doesn’t feature the camera icon on the search bar, there are two ways to use the feature on your mobile device.
1. Request the desktop version
- Go to images.google.com
- Tap on the three-dot menu in the upper right corner of the screen.
- Select “request desktop site”.
- Use the camera icon to upload an image from your mobile device or paste an image URL to proceed with the reverse image search.
- Get your results.
2. Use the mobile “right click” method
- Go to the page that contains the image you want to reverse search.
- Press and hold onto the image until a menu pops up.
- Select ‘ Search image with Google Lens” from the menu. This method will also work if you want to reverse search from regular Google images.
How to do a Reverse Photo Lookup on Mobile Using Other Apps?
There are other apps too that can help you with a reverse image search on the phone. These apps vary from official Google apps to apps developed by third parties.
Let’s explore some of the options below.
It offers a number of features, including reverse image search from mobile. However, you must note that this app isn’t designed for this, so it might not be the best choice.
But, there are third-party apps that can allow you to perform a reverse image search on Android and iOS. The procedure is similar to how you’d use the feature on a desktop. These apps allow you to look at reverse image searches across search engines like Google, Yandex, Bing and others.
Different Uses For Reverse Image Search
Reverse image search has a wide usage. At times, this feature can be used for fun, but for the most part, it can help you perform powerful tasks.
I’ll share with you some of the best uses of reverse image search.
- Find similar images: This feature can come handy while creating content on any topic. Adding similar images can increase the relevance of your content and improve its readability.
- Editors checking for spun articles: Generally, when authors use an image, they tend to write the content around that image but don’t always give credit to the author.
- Finding an image source to give due credit: Whenever you use an image from a different source, you must give credit to them. If you have forgotten where you got the image from, you can always run a reverse image search to link to the source.
- Check for copyright violations: You can check whether someone is using your images without giving you the due credit or asking for permission. It is also useful while checking whether an image is okay to reuse.
- Discover who is using your image: This feature can be utilized during link building and backlink analysis process. It is also useful for brand monitoring.
- Find the dimensions and metadata of an image.
- Pull text and translate it.
As you can see, reverse image search can be a part of a wider marketing strategy. You can use it to monitor your brand, build links and more. When used with the best SEO tools, the reverse image search feature can help you grow your business exponentially.