Search Google Using an Image

Posted: November 16, 2011

Google Images now offers a feature where you can search the Internet for similar images. To do try an Image search:

  1. Go to:
  2. Find a photo on your computer in your Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac).
  3. Drag that photo to the browser and drop it into the Search Field on the Google Images page.
  4. Wait for the photo to upload and voila!

Here’s a screenshot of the Google Image page that shows the sample Starry Night image being dragged to the search field:

Google Images Screenshot


How can I use this?

This is more than just a cool feature as there are several business applications this can be used for.

  1. Copyright: If you have photos on a website you run or on Flickr, try search with one of those photos and see if any other websites are using your photo that maybe did not ask for permission. You might be surprised!
  2. Designing with Stock Photos: If you simply do not have photos for your website and need to buy stock photos from a service like iStock, try searching the web with that stock photo to see what other companies are using that same photo. Discovering that a competitor is using the same photo is like wearing the same outfit to a party as your friend.
  3. Partnerships / Linking: Sometimes websites put a logo of your company on their site but don’t provide a link to your website. Try searching with your logo and see what comes up. This may present some opportunities to follow up for link building.

It’s widely known that one of the methods Google’s algorithm ranks sites on is unique content. Will this content start to include images? Or maybe it does already.

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