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Image-based search is one of Google’s most exciting, but still lesser-known and used features. In this article, I’ll show you in detail how you can use Google Image Search on any device, desktop or smartphone.
When searching for images on the web, the traditional solution is to type a term (keyword) that interests us into Google search and then browse through the result by clicking on the “Images” tab.
For image-based search, the image itself will be the “keyword”, the starting point, and the search result will also be an image. This is why this feature is also called “reverse” search.
Image search can be a very useful tool, for example, when
Google’s image recognition algorithm analyzes images on the web from a variety of perspectives. Able to interpret the shapes, colors, backgrounds and locations shown in the images, to recognize that there is a human in the given image, or rather an animal, possibly some object or product.
Examines the metadata attached to the images (alternative texts, file names, descriptions and captions), also analyzes the size and resolution of the image file. It also takes into account the context of the images and the website on which the photo, drawing or even logo appeared.
The algorithm therefore draws conclusions from a huge heap of information and gives search results.
For the sake of example, I downloaded a picture from a BBC article about swallowing dolphins swimming in New Zealand soon for tourists because it’s bad for animals. The picture shows people swimming with dolphins. I renamed the file – to make the algorithm a little harder – and then started a search on Google image search at images.google.com.
Image above is the result. In short, Google shoots very precisely what the image is about. It pops up a search term that matches an image (“new zealand south island dolphins”) and ranks first in two websites that offer dolphin swimming to tourists. Show another stack of images that show the same theme, and then list the pages where that image already exists. First comes the BBC article from which I took the picture.
Maybe that’s how it seems
Google Image Search is a very advanced feature that is really worth using every day.
Incidentally, image-based search is not Google’s exclusive invention, the pioneer in the field was the also free TinEye app.
There are basically three ways to use Google Image Search:
Google officially stores images uploaded to Image Search for only 7 days. However, in the opinion of many, this does not mean that a copy of the images does not remain part of the search giant’s database in some form.
You will see these in the image search results list:
In addition, if the given image depicts a well-known topic, we will get some additional basic information on the page in a separate box. For example, if we search for a photo of San Lorenzo Cathedral in Genoa, we get this result:
You can further filter image results based on a number of criteria. By default, the image size and publication date are the two configurable filters, but depending on the topic, you can also sort by color, type (GIF, ClipArt, etc.), usage rights.
For example, you can easily search for snow-only, black-and-white images from the last 24 hours:
There are three ways to use image-based image search to optimize your website for search engine optimization.
If you use the Chrome browser on your smartphone, simple image search works the same as on your desktop computer. To do this, you need to hold your finger on the image and then select Search Google for this image from the menu that appears.
However, image search based on URL or uploaded image will not go through images.google.com on your smartphone. You can use the Google Lens application for this.
If you’ve gotten this far by reading this article, you’re not at all surprised that Google can identify people based on the faces in a photo.
Of course, this only works really well when it comes to a known person. For example, in the case of the Prime Minister of India, we get a pinpoint result.
Although Google’s facial recognition capacity is growing (and scary), we probably won’t get too many meaningful results right now if we upload a photo of an average Indian resident for search.
In the future, of course, this may even change radically.