With an image search engine, you can sort through and find a great selection of images you can use in your online store. By learning how to search images on Google, you’ll be able to find images labelled for reuse that you can use to for your logo, website banner, blog post, or even your Facebook ad.

In this article, you’ll learn what an image search engine is, and which image search engines and apps you can use to reverse search for photos.

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What Is an Image Search Engine?

An image search engine is a database of images that can be searched through the use of keywords, so that users can find valuable images. Google’s image search engine is the most comprehensive and famous image search engine today and was created on July 12, 2001.

In 2001 Google noticed a huge search demand for a specific query that its regular search could not do justice for. This demand was for Jennifer Lopez’s green Versace dress, and Google noticed that an image result would be much better than the text results that were delivered back then.

The Best Image Search Engines

There are many image search engines in the world. Some are very broad and all encompassing, like Google and Yahoo, and some are niche and confined, like HONMedia. What these websites all have in common is a database of images that can be searched through using keywords, tags, or topics.

The best in the market are the ones that can provide the best match to a search query, and also have a large enough database to cater for their audience.

Here are the best image search engines that you can use:

  1. Google Images

    best image search engines
    Have you always wanted to know how to search images on Google? Using
    Google Images you can search for images to use for your website, blog, ads, and other marketing content. While not all images found in Google images can be used for commercial purposes without permission, Google Images has an extensive collection for you to sort through.

    As the best image search engine in the market, you’ll find the most extensive collection of pictures on Google Images than any other platform. You can search for specific products such as kitchen utensils, or niches like running, which you can use in your business.

    How does Google image search work? With Google Images, you can sort through images of specific sizes, color, what type of image it is, and more, by simply typing in keywords. You can then sort images by their license by clicking Tools then Usage Rights. You’ll want to use an image that’s labeled for reuse. Images under that section can be used for blog posts, ads, or other marketing activities. You’ll notice that most of the images in these sections come from a variety of free stock photo sites.

  2. Yahoo Images

    best image search engine Yahoo
    Yahoo Image Search
    comes in second place as one of the best image search engines because you can find great images for every niche. When you type your niche into the search bar you’ll be shown a variety of images. You’ll want to change the license, see top right corner, to include ‘free to share and use commercially’ or you can choose ‘free to modify, share and use commercially’ if you plan to modify images in any way. You’ll find professional lifestyle images, images on white backgrounds, graphics and more which you can use on your store.

  3. Bing Images 

    best image search engine Bing
    Bing Image Search
    is similar to Google Images and Yahoo Images so it’s another great picture search engine you can use to source images. Type your niche or what you need an image of into the Bing Image search bar. You’ll notice on the far right hand side there’s a Filter button. When you click it, you’ll see a dropdown appear. Click on License. You’ll want to choose images that are free for commercial use.

  4. best image search engine picsearch
    has a collection of 3 billion images it’s no wonder it’s one of the best image search engines. The image search engine sources pictures from a variety of websites. You can choose from lifestyle pictures to stock photos. You’ll still need to obtain permission to use the images on the platform as per the disclaimer on the footer of their website. However, you’ll know which website the pictures come from making it easy to contact for permission.

  5. Yandex

    best image search engine Yandex
    is another free website with a large database of images to search. It’s the most popular search engine in Russia, but small compared to its competitors. If the database has nothing to satisfy the exact search, it will show similar images to the use. You can also use Yandex for reverse image search. 

  6. Pinterest Visual Search Tool

    Image search engine Pinterest
    Pinterest visual search tool is a fun thing to play with. Different to most other tools you can zoom into a section of an image and reverse search this to find similar images, or pins. The fact that you don’t need to search the whole image makes this a very intriguing tool. To use it you need to sign in to Pinterest and start pinning things.

  7. Creative Commons

    image search engine creative commons
    Creative Commons
    is one of the most extensive image collections making it to the list of the best image search engines. You’ll be able to search images from a range of picture search engines such as Google Images, Flickr, Wikimedia Commons, Pixabay, and more. Whether you’re looking for a picture that represents your niche or of a famous celebrity, you’ll be sure to find images.

  8. Flickr

    image search engines Flickr
    Flickr is a unique image search engine. The majority of images come from amateur and professional photographers, who are sharing their work on Flickr. You can use a variety of different filters when searching for an image, and even follow people on Flickr or join groups. 

Reverse image search is a search engine technology that makes it possible for a user to input an image file as a search query and return results that are related to that image. Image search is when a user is able to find images related to the search term that they have typed.

Most search engines offer reverse image search that can be helpful if you’re looking for images relating to to your search. Or in the case that you have an image and you are wanting to dig deeper into it, maybe get to know where it originated, or find out more details about the owner of the image.  

You can do this fairly easily on desktop using the Google Reverse Image Search option. All you have to do is:

  1. Go to images.google.com,
  2. Click the camera icon that is appearing in the search bar,
  3. Then paste in the URL of an image that you have seen somewhere online, or
  4. You can manually upload an image from your computer that you have saved, or
  5. Drag an image from another window.

Best Reverse Image Search Tools

If you’re looking for other tools for reverse image search, we’ve got you covered. Here are some additional tools:

  1. TinEye reverse image search tool To use this tool you’ll need to add the image link to the search bar to find a selection of websites and stores selling the same product as you. Over 19 billion images have been searched for on the platform since its inception making it a great resource for reverse image search.
  2. CTRLQ

    reverse image search tool
    CTRLQ is a Google tool that allows you to upload your photo onto the platform and find who else has posted your image. After you upload an image, you can click “Show Matches” to find other websites with your picture. You’ll be directed to Google’s search page where you’ll be shown your exact picture on other websites.

If you prefer using apps for reverse image search, we’ve compiled a list of apps for you:

1. Search By Image

Search by Image is an app available on Android that helps you find similar images or pictures using either Google, Tineye, or Yandex reverse image search engine. Search by Image supports camera to capture the image, and also allows you to easily edit the image before searching. With the Image editor you can also rotate the image, flip it horizontally or vertically, and crop the image. Additionally, you have the option of opening shared images from other apps like Facebook, Twitter, your browser, etc., without having to save them.

Available on Android for free. 

2. Reversee

This reverse image app sends your pictures directly into the Google Images database to help you search for similar images. You can upgrade to the pro version for $3.99 and get results from Bing and Yandex as well.

Available on iOS for free. 

3. Photo Sherlock

This app provides search by image taken from your camera or an existing image in your gallery. Similar to the other apps, Photo Sherlock can be useful to find information about photos on Google, for example to detect the real owner or a photo from social network, or if you want to check if a photo is fake or original. It’s quite simple to use, with basic image searching functions, and allows you to crop the image before searching.

Available on iOS and Android for free. 

4. Veracity

With this app you can reverse search images by uploading through your camera roll, photo library or even uploading from Dropbox. You have the option to remove ads from the app with a $2.99 in-app purchase.

Available on iOS for free. 

Rules Before Using An Image

When using images for your blog content or ads, be sure to look at the image license. For example, if you want to use an image from Google Images, you’ll need to make sure that the image has been labelled for commercial reuse. Otherwise, you won’t have permission to use the photo. You can also buy photos from stock image websites to ensure that you have the rights to use the photo for your marketing.

You can use tools like TinEye and other image reverse tools to try to find the source of who created an image. Or when in doubt, you could take your own product photos to protect your business from any lawsuits. You could choose to take your own pictures or hire someone to do take your product photography.

Automizely allows you to import images from AliExpress in one click. And while most suppliers have their own product images on their platform, some use customer images or images that belong to another company. It can sometimes be difficult to know who owns the copyright to the image you import to your store.

Be mindful of using product images for ads. While the images from a supplier can be great at converting for your store, if someone claims that you’re using their photo without permission you might be asked to remove it.

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Want to Learn More?

Which are your favorite image search engines? And what apps or tools do you like to use to carry out reverse image search? Let us know in the comments below!