A Look into Reverse Image Search Tools

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I’ve been already looking at various advanced image search engines as well as listing tools that allow to search for similar images. This post is about a bit different type of image search:

Reverse image search refers to the search type where you don’t need keywords at all; instead you just need to provide a base image for the search engine to find more images like that one.

This is not a very popular type of search engines because it is new and not really well-known.

Reverse image search tool The algorithm (seems to be) based on
TinEyeExact match
ByoColor similarity
GazopaColor and shape similarity

TinEye a reverse image search that also has a handy FireFox addon is best for searching exactly matching images: those that look identical to the base one but are available in different resolution and from different sources.

It can be a great tool for finding stolen and / or un-attributed images:

TinEye results

Byo image search seems to be based on color palette similarity primarily but does include theme based algorithm:

BYO similarity search

Gazopa (quite a new tool that launched last month) allows to upload a base image from your computer or even draw one yourself. The similarity is based on color and shape match which works amazingly great but can still be sometimes quite confusing. Look how a broccoli is perceived as a tree:


Can you think of any cases when those tools can be particularly useful?

Ann Smarty

Ann Smarty

Brand amd Community Manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas
Ann Smarty is the blogger and community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas. Ann's expertise in blogging and tools serve as a base for her writing,... Read Full Bio
Ann Smarty
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  • Bronson

    Thanks Anne, this is seriously cool & useful.

    My Sarch Geek-o-Meter just went up a notch, thanks!

  • Bronson

    Oops, pffft! Apologies for the syntax error in previous comment.

  • Richard Gilmore

    I sometimes use TinEye to check where the competition is buying advertising space. You can also use it to find affilaite sites.

  • Simon

    As ever, great tools Ann.

    @Richard Gilmore = very interesting… going to have to try that out.


  • Antonio

    Hi, I think you can include in this list also RevIMG http://www.revimg.net

    This is a real reverse image search engine: start from an image to get a link.

  • alex

    Suppose you want to know more about the image used in a profile, but you have no clue where the image comes from or represents; finding out will tell you more about the person.

    Or … how it becomes more and more difficult to hide oneself from the web.