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Reverse Image Search with Google and TinEye

By DominicD
You can easily research for pictures of people, places, objects and events, on every search engine such as Google or Yahoo. Have you ever wondered about possibly searching the other way around – doing a reverse image search? A reverse image search is literally the opposite of typing keywords to search for pictures. In a reverse image search, you upload the picture file, and the search engine matches it with similar pictures to provide you more information on the image.

Got outdoor photos and forgotten where they were taken? Is the packaging and labels of your ketchup bottle the same for those sold in other countries? Do a reverse image search with Google and TinEye to find out!

Google Images

Start using the Reverse Search feature of Google Images, browse to Notice the new “camera” icon just next to the search bar

There are three easy ways to input your image.
  1. You can drag a picture from one browser window, and drop it to the search bar in Google Images.

  2. If the image is already saved in some website or link, simply copy the image In the example below, I found a link to the picture in my high school research files

    Click the Camera icon, paste it to the search bar.

  3. Install the “Google Search by Image plugin”
    For Mozilla Firefox --
    For Google Chrome --

I’ve selected some website and home pictures for testing with Google Images.

First, im off to research on who again is on this picture, the only clue that I can remember is that it was in my high school research files – possibly a scientist? An early computing and internet pioneer? Or perhaps a classical musician?

The picture in question

Now searching this on Google Images:

Google Images is correct! I did a book report on “The Count of Monte Cristo” my first, and still favorite novel, written by Alexander Dumas!


This test used a holiday photo.

Google Image Search was able to detect the background and correctly matched the image to be Lake Louise, in Banff Alberta Canada

This test used a home photo. Amazingly, Google Image Search was able to detect the Dairy Queen Logo and cup. It suggested matches for the more pictures of the DQ ice cream cups and Dairy Queen website

This test may have been difficult or unique, the photo might have been unique to Google Image Search – hence no matching search results.



TinEye is also a free reverse image search engine. It finds out where an image came from, how it is being used, if modified versions of the image exist, or if there is a higher resolution version.

Just like Google Image Search, TinEye suggests the many benefits of a reverse image search:
  • Find out where an image came from, or get more information about it
  • Research or track the appearance of an image online
  • Find higher resolution versions of an image
  • Locate web pages that make use of an image you have created
  • Discover modified or edited versions of an image

TinEye also does a good job of matching edited pictures that are possible variations of the original image.


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