Reverse image searching – that is, searching to see if an image already exists somewhere else online – is not a new concept but many people are still unaware that this technology exists or how to perform such a search. Today we’ll go over a couple of ways to help you find out if that image in question is already out there somewhere else.
There are two popular ways to find an image online: Google Images and TinEye. Neither is better than the other and we’ve had better luck with each of them in different circumstances. Let’s take a look at how to perform a reverse image search on each.
There are two ways to do a reverse image search on both Google and TinEye: 1. Uploading the image from your hard drive or, 2. pasting a link to the image in question. The method you choose won’t affect your search results.
Go to images.google.com and click the camera icon in the search bar. This will give you the option to upload your image or paste a link to the image in question. You can also drag an image from your computer onto the search bar to do a reverse search on it.
A nice feature of Google’s reverse image results is that it also shows you visually similar images, along with websites containing the image.
TinEye.com has been around for years and often yields different results than Google’s image search – sometimes more, sometimes less. It has the same options to either upload an image or to paste a link to an image. Chrome users can install the TinEye plug-in, which allows you to perform reverse image searches by simply right-clicking on any image.
What we like about TinEye is that you can sort your results by best match, most changed, or biggest image.
How to get an image’s URL
If you aren’t sure how to get an image’s URL to paste in either Google or TinEye, you merely have to right-click on the image. Depending on your browser, the option may say “Copy image URL” (Chrome) or “Copy image location” (Firefox) or just “Copy” in the case of Internet Explorer. At this point, you just have to go back to Google Images or TinEye, right-click in the appropriate search bar and select “Paste.”
We’ve found that doing reverse searches on both sites gives us the richest set of results.
If you’ve had an online profile for several years, try doing a few reverse searches on your own images to see if anything comes up!