We already know that a picture is worth a thousand words. In a nutshell, images are more informative than texts nowadays. However, there are times when you see an image, but you do not have an idea of what that is. So, how do you plan to become a detective and find out what that is?
Well, you do not need to be an expert to find out what the image describes or consists of, you simply need some of the best reverse image search engines to dig out the information about the picture.
Also, there are chances that you might not have any idea about what a reverse image search engine is. So, before moving on to list the best of them, let us check out what a reverse image search engine is.
What Is A Reverse Image Search Engine?
Reverse image search engines are a type of search engines where you set an image to be searched for on the web. Instead of a keyword (text), you search for similar images using an image you already have.
However, you would not directly get a text-based description on the image you searched for, but with results containing similar images, you will find a treasure of sites where you may possibly get the required information about the image.
There are dedicated reverse image search engines and mainstream (or top) search engines which support this functionality. The mainstream search engines like Google & Bing may prove to have a bigger database for a perfect reverse image lookup. But, on the other hand, the dedicated reverse image lookup services may turn out to be more accurate.
So, we’ll take a look at both types of reverse image search engines to help us make things easier.
List Of Best Reverse Image Search Engines
Mostly, the major search engine giants would count as one of the best. But, we would look at a variety of aspects where every search engine listed here stands as a valuable reverse image lookup tool.
1. Google – Reverse Image Search Engine
In the 4th quarter of 2011, Google launched its reverse image search capability letting the users utilize one of the biggest database available. Almost anyone can bet that Google has got the most image indexed on Google Images, so why not utilize it?
If not accurate but you will get a wide range of results when you perform a search. Do not take our word for it; you may ask any Internet Guru to recommend the best place to perform a reverse image search, and you will be directed to Google Images. Although, one cannot guarantee the presence of every image on the web, but if you don’t find something anywhere else, you may definitely get it with Google Images.
2. Bing – Reverse Image Search Engine
Bing may not be at its best in today’s date, but its “Image Match” tool helps a lot. After Google, you can definitely thank Microsoft to incorporate Bing as yet another reverse image search engine.
Like Google, Bing also offers a million images indexed to help you perform a reverse image search and find the information you seek.
Bing Images returns a lot of relevant results as per our test, but it may fail when you look for some unique set of pictures. That’s because Bing’s database isn’t as large as Google’s but still big enough. Also, when inquired to some of the search engine experts, we got to know that Google’s search algorithm is superior to Bing, which gives an edge to Google.
3. TinEye – Reverse Image Search Engine
TinEye is one of the best dedicated reverse image search engines. By dedicated, we mean it’s specifically tailored to perform a reverse image search.
You can either upload the image of your choice or simply paste the image’s URL to perform reverse image lookup. If you create an account, you can save your searches and not scroll through all of your browsing histories to find what you looked up for. TinEye claims that it has 16.9 million images indexed and constantly growing to become one of the most used reverse image search engine.
Just because it’s not big as Google, you shouldn’t ignore using it. It offers browser extensions to help you along quickly. To our experience, we found the service to be extremely accurate and encountered highly filtered results. You may find a couple of blogs listing it as a paid online tool, but recently it has been declared as a free to use tool for non-commercial purposes.
TinEye is the only reverse image search engine believed to actually implement the image recognition technology for its reverse image lookup function. And, that’s the sole reason why it stands out from the rest being an accurate reverse image search engine.
4. Image Identify
It’s a work in progress but way better than what exists. It actually gives you the direct information you require about the image. So, you do not have to browse several sites in order to dig through the texts to know about the image because this tool will directly provide you with the information about the image.
As the name suggests, this reverse image search engine is only suitable for identification purposes. If you are looking for an image lookup search engine to help you look for copyright infringement, it is not at all valid for such purposes.
You will be amazed to know that this tool has been made possible because of a new programming language – “Wolfram“; which plays a vital role for a future-proof Artificial Intelligence technology. The identification tool utilizes Wolfram Alpha (its knowledge search engine). If you are a programmer, you could head on to its official site to know more about it.
5. Image Raider
Image Raider is one of the most interesting reverse image search engines with added benefits (bonus!). Unlike other reverse image search engines, it does not have its own database to search images from. It helps you find the image using Google Images, Bing, and Yandex.
Along with the reverse lookup feature, the service offers some powerful yet useful features at a cost (everything’s not for free!). However, when you tweet about the service, you get 50 credits for free. The subscription costs around 1 Euro per 300 credits, where each image check counts for one credit. You may not consider its paid service unless you get to know what it offers.
It lets you check each of your uploaded image (after you have created an account) for copyright infringement. The service is perfect for photographers and bloggers to check if someone is stealing their work without necessary permission. Also, if you want to keep a track on your image’s popularity, you can utilize this tool. In either case, if you are simply looking for the original source, then Image Raider would be the perfect place to search for without separately searching for it on Google Images, Bing, and Yandex. The best part is – it can help you monitor an image in the long run and notify you of the websites that use them.
Baidu is just like Google to the Internet users in China. Hence, it is the biggest Chinese search engine giant. Using Baidu’s image search tool, you can upload a picture of your choice to find similar image results which will help you identify the picture and let you search for similar pictures for a presentation or project.
Although, you will not be able to understand what’s written but you will still be able to perform an image search after you have successfully translated the text. You can take the help of several chrome extensions or the Google translate website to easily translate the page to facilitate reverse image search. Baidu may not be the most loved reverse image search engine, but if you are looking for a unique set of results or if you are searching for something relevant to Chinese people, it would be the perfect spot to look for.
Yandex is yet another good reverse image search engine. It is also Russia’s largest search engine. As an added bonus, Yandex also offers a browser which makes it easy for Yandex search users for quicker access to search results and images.
So, if you happen to use Yandex browser, you can simply search for an image by a quick right-click and then click on search to perform the image lookup. You can also search by putting the URL of an image.
Overall, Yandex and Baidu both do a decent job, but Yandex proves to be an easier alternative where you do not need to translate the language before searching for an image.
8. Karma Decay
Karma Decay is the coolest reverse image search engine I have ever encountered. It’s an exclusive to Reddit.com, which means that it will only look up for images found on Reddit. As per the creator, it is still in beta and does not have all of the images present in Reddit indexed yet. So, Karma Decay is yet another work-in-progress.
However, it isn’t owned by or affiliated to Reddit, it just utilizes the images at Reddit to create a separate database for users looking for interesting images.
9. Shutterstock Reverse Image Search
Shutterstock is no doubt one of the largest image repositories online. With its incredible storage capacity, the service provided millions or even billions of images to the users all over the internet. Addition to this, Shutterstock now offers the reverse image search option to help you easily find out the pictures that you are looing for. The process is almost same as any other tools listed above. Input images and get image results which are more accurate than few of the above-listed items.
Now that you have known about the 9 best reverse image search engines, do you still have something to know about?
Yes, you still got to know the best ways to utilize reverse image search feature on your smartphone. Why not let us help you along?
If you have got an Android or an iOS device, you definitely can perform a reverse image lookup without directly visiting these sites through the browser. Instead, an app would definitely come handy!
Reverse Image Search on Android Devices
Android’s Play Store is generally filled with interesting applications, so there’s no doubt you could have something in the store that lets you search for an information with the help of an image. Let us look at some of the applications that could help you through.
Google Goggles is a great app developed by Google Inc. Unlike other reverse image search engine, it does not take an image file from your device. Instead, you have to point your camera to a picture or image you want to search or know about. It actually does the same thing but works differently.
PicFinder utilizes Google Images. So, it’s advisable to use only if you are not comfortable using your smartphone’s browser. PicFinder lets you search for similar images or dig for a variety of sizes of an image using Google images within the app.
Reverse Image Search On iPhone
There are a couple of applications that facilitate reverse image search on iPhone. However, only one of them is the most favorite solution. And, that is – Veracity.
Veracity is an incredible app for iPhone by which you can directly upload your images from camera roll, Dropbox, or photo library to search for similar images or related information. However, the app comes with in-app advertisements which might prove to be annoying at a point in time. So, in order to get rid of the advertisements you need to pay 190 INR. In addition, it also offers an editing tool which costs you 60 INR.
Reverse image search engines are not widely used as text-based searches because of its limited usefulness to a handful of users. Whatever be the case, it is still a very innovative take to make things easier on the web. We could hope for some interesting updates to the services mentioned above which would compel more users to try reverse image search engines.
Did we miss any of your favorite reverse image search services? Are you in the making of a next-gen reverse image search tool? If yes, do let us know so we could include it on our list (if it’s that impressive!). Also, do let us know about your thoughts on the best reverse image search engines.