Google reverse image search | Google Search by Image

With Google reverse image search feature, you can quickly discover and explore photos that are visually similar from around the web on your device.

Let’s take a closer look at Google’s reverse image search feature, understand what it does, how to use it, and why it is useful.

Reverse Image Search

Google reverse image search, more accurately known as Google Search by Images is a service that the internet giant – Google has provided to the users since 2011. The feature is accessible from the Google images search box and can prove to be incredibly useful once you get hold of how to use it.

What is Google Reverse Image Search?

Google Reverse Image Search
Google Reverse Image Search

Google reverse image search, officially known as Google Search by Image, is a feature service offered by Google that enables a user to search for images using another image as the starting point. This works as a substitute for a written or spoken search query. 

All you have to do is just upload an image, or provide a link to the image that you want to find online, and Google will try to find relevant or related images. The resultant images will typically be similar or can be a mix of similar images and/ or exact copies.

Currently, Google’s search by image feature is available for desktops and not for mobile phones or iPads.

Therefore, if you get an image of a WhatsApp or Facebook that you would like to verify, you will have to transfer the photograph first to a computer and then perform a reverse image search.

Well, this can be a lot of work.

Google reverse photos, you can conduct reverse image searches on Android as well as iPhones in a few easy steps. Here’s how:-

  • Click the button Upload Image and choose an image from your mobile’s photo gallery
  • Now, click the Show matching images button and it will send the pictures into Google’s image database and show you visually similar photos

How to do Reverse Image Search on Google?

Here is how you can use the reverse image search feature:-

  • Head to Google Images and click on the Camera Icon. You can find the “Camera Icon” in the search box.
  • Now, upload an image you want from your device or insert a link to an image online
  • You will get similar or related results to your search query on Google

For pasting or inserting a link of an image, you find online:

  • Right-click on the image and select “Copy Image Address”
  • This link can now be pasted in the search box which of often set to “Paste Image URL” at default

Moreover, if you use Chrome or Firefox browsers, you get an option to drag an image from your computer directly into the search box.

Alongside, Chrome comes along with another advantage – the ability to perform a reverse image search whenever you come across an image on a website. All you have to do is to simply right-click in the image and select “Google for image”.

How can you use Reverse Image Search on an Android Device?

There are different ways of using Google’s Search by Image feature on an android phone.

You can search for an image in Google images using speech or text before you click on a resulting image and press down your thumb or finger for a moment. This will provide you with a Search Google for this image option.

If you are using a browser such as Chrome, Opera, or Brave, you can also access this Search Google for this Image option when you press down on an image elsewhere online. Through this, you can perform Reverse Image Search on Google.

How can you use Reverse Image Search on an iPhone or iPad Device?

The Google Search by Image feature is not available in the iOS version of Safari as you find it on the desktop version. However, it is possible to access the feature in different ways when using iOS devices.

  • Google lens icon is found in the top-right hand corner of the search results in Google images. Tap on this icon to perform a search from an image.
  • Google lens can also be found in the Google Photos app available for iOS devices. Select a photo from your collection and tap on Google lens to get related results

How is it different from Google Images Searches?

Usually, when searching Google images, you will input a search term such as deserts and dishes. So, Google will aim to provide you with the most relevant images related to your search term.

Now, with reverse image search, the starting point is to upload an image or paste the URL of an online image. With this, Google gets a clear idea of what you are looking for.

This allows it to find images and information particularly related to the image you have provided.

In simple terms, Google images search provides search results based on the search term you type in.

Where, in Reverse image search, you use an image or photograph to look for another image.

How does Reverse Image Search Work?

As per the explanation by Google, an image that a user uses for a reverse search is analyzed for distinctive points, colours, lines, and textures.

Then, the query generated from this analysis is compared with billions of other possible images that Google is able to access.

If Google successfully finds an exact match, Google will display this, specifying the different sizes of images it has and has been able to find. Typically, related images or relevant web pages are also shown.

Why do people use reverse image search?

Google reverse image search feature is useful to verify the sources of WhatsApp images, photographs, screenshots or internet memes.

Facebook and Tinder users have been using the search by image feature to look for profile pictures of the potential dates.

Also, travelers use this feature to find the location of photos while matrimonial sites user perform a reverse search to detect fake pictures.

Moreover, all the images you upload are hosted anonymously on Google Cloud and cannot be discovered by other users.

Within a few hours of uploading, all the photographs or images are automatically deleted from cloud storage.

Reverse image search is not only about looking for the exact copies of a photograph or image, but also related images.

It depends on the recognition of the subject within the images and photographs. All this unlocks many other benefits of the service as well.

Firstly, it can bring up multiple similar images that may have a certain similarity or interesting information attached to them.

An example of this is when you capture an image of a plant or insect and you want to know the name.

When you use this for a reverse image search, you will get different similar images that show the same subject. Also, there is a good chance that a few images will bear the same as their description.

Moreover, if Google is confident about its correct recognition of the subject within an image, it might display a separate knowledge graph box. This box provides additional images of the subject along with key information.

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