Nowadays images make considerable part of web communication. So it is important for search engines like Google to enable searches using images. Google offers image and reverse images searches using a dedicated search service. The image crawler of Google is Googlebot-Image, which is different than the regular Googlebot crawler used for desktop and mobile searches. In this article let us discuss how to use reverse image search in Google.
What is Reverse Image Search?
Well, you know what is image search. You give some text keyword query and search for images relevant to that text query is normal image search. Now that reverse image search is the way to search relevant images and web content based on the image input (instead of text query).
Both image and reverse searches can be done with same Google’s image search site.
Ho to Use Reverse Image Search in Google?
Go to https://images.google.com/ and click on the “Search by image” (camera) icon in the search box as shown below:
You will have three options to do the reverse image search:
- Drag and drop your image to search
- Use URL of an image to search
- Upload your image and search
How Reverse Image Search Works?
Whether you upload an image or use the image URL, the final search results page will be same. Let us try reverse image search and see how precise it is. Right click on the bellow image and download to you computer.
Ensure to have the image name as “test-image.jpg”.
Go to https://images.google.com and click on the camera icon in the search box. Upload the “test-image.jpg”file under “Upload an image” tab.
Once the image is uploaded, Google will guess the image content and show the best guessed keywords for the uploaded image. You will see all relevant results including all webpages containing the relevant images and the guessed keywords. You can just close on the “X”button in the image text box to get the image search results for the best guessed keywords.
Checking the Relevancy of Reverse Image Search
The image we have used for the above search has an iPhone 7 picture and the best guessed word is exactly iPhone 7.
We have checked by uploading different images and found most of the cases Google can find the content on the image regardless of the description and without any EXIF data. This is the same case with image URLs as well. So Google really can scan the image and read the content without any text inputs.
The result depends on the popularity of the image content and the number of appearances of the relevant images in popular sites. So when you search popular landmarks and other personalities, you will tend to get more relevant search results. If you search for an unknown building on your street, probably there will be no relevant results in Google.
How to Do Reverse Image Search on Mobile?
Google offers reverse image search function only on desktop devices. By default there is no option to do this from either Android or iOS mobile devices. You can only use Chrome app or any third party services on your phone for this purpose. Let us explain the reverse search feature with Chrome app in iOS here.
Install Chrome app on your mobile and open any sites with images. Tab on the image and hold to see the options popping up like below.
Tap on “Search Google for This Image” option to get reverse image search results based on the chosen image.
Remember, the “Search Google for This Image” option will appear when holding an image only inside the Chrome app.