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Is someone stealing my images? Use Reverse Image Search to find the culprit!

Puja Kotecha updated on: 25th Nov 2019

Have you ever wondered if your images are being used elsewhere without your permission? Here is a simple guide to using Google’s Reverse Image Lookup.

What is Google Reverse Image Search?

Google Reverse Image Search is a search engine feature that allows you to search images without using any keywords. This makes it easy to do an image search for business or personal use. With this innovative tool you can find the original source of photographs, memes and graphic icons.

When you search using an image, your search results may include other similar images, various sizes of the image you searched for and websites that include the image.

Now that we know what reverse search image is, I will show you a step by step guide on how to use it.

How to use Google Reverse Image Search?

There are four simple ways you can search by image from your desktop, just make sure you are on images.google.com

  1. You can drag and drop and image from your computer straight into the Google image search box.
  2. By clicking on the camera icon you can upload the image you want to search.
  3. Another option is to paste the URL into the search bar.
  4. You can also right click on any image on the internet and select the “search Google for this image” option.

Below I will show you Google reverse image search in action!

Firstly go to images.google.com and hover over the camera icon on the search bar, it should say ‘search by image’

Click on that and there will be an option to paste an image URL or upload an image

I will upload an image using a picture our talented photographer Ollie has taken for our blog.

Once you have your image linked or uploaded, click “Search by Image.”

In this example I have uploaded the image, it will give me three results:

Additional sizes: this will give you other sizes of the specific image you have searched, in this instance there are no other sizes.

Websites with similar content: you can see above that there are websites which have similar images to the one we have searched.

Visually similar images: we can see images above that are very similar to the one we have searched.

Another result you may get is pages with matching images that will bring up a list of websites that include the same image that you have searched for.

Reverse Image Search via mobile phone

The Chrome browser app is for iOS and Android also supports a reverse image search workaround. You can reverse search images on your phone in three simple steps:

  1. Open the Chrome app
  2. Select the image you want to search and the following pop up will allow you to do a search
  3. Press and hold down on the image into the box that appears, finally tap Search Google for this image.

Limitations of reverse image search

Unfortunately Google’s reverse image search does not pick up images from particular social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter. If the image is blurred or zoomed in then it also won’t pick up any results.

Reasons to use reverse image search?

This tool is extremely easy to use and you will be able to get some insightful information from your images. Why use it you say? Well there are many benefits we have listed below from a digital marketing standpoint:

Authenticating people - You can use this tool to ensure the profile of a person is right and validate their identity. Reverse image search can trace it instantly if anyone else is using your images.

Measure the influence of your content marketing - it’s rewarding when someone is reusing your images to put into their content to share with others. Not only does that help with their own content but gets you a link also!

Protect your business's images - this is such an incredible tool to find out who else is using your images. It’s great to see but not when they choose to integrate it into their own material and class it as their own.

Find better quality images - If you use images that are not protected you are able to use Google reverse image search to help you find a better quality photo for your work.

Other image searching tools

You don't just have to use Google, there are many other providers of reverse image searches including tools such as TinEye and Bing.