What is reverse image search?

The reverse image search mechanism allows finding a thing, person, building, piece of art, etc. using only an image. Try it now to find your face online.

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What is reverse image search?

Imagine this: you came back from your holidays on the French Riviera a few weeks ago and now your friends are demanding a French party with real “français” food. You would really like to honor their request and you've even got an idea of what you should serve. Unfortunately, you don’t have a clue what the name of this amazing dish you have eaten at a local restaurant is.

So you google: “French dish with chicken”. In the search results, you receive the names, photos, and recipes of a few traditional French dishes. Finally, you find the one you have been searching for - Coq au Vin. But you could discover the name of this stew and recipes for it much more easily, using a photo you took in the restaurant and something called a “reverse image search engine”. Get to know how to do that from this article.

How does reverse image search work?

The reverse image search mechanism allows finding a thing, person, building, piece of art, etc. using only an image. When you perform a search you don’t need any name or additional description, you just upload a picture and the search engine returns results with similar images. They are linked to source websites (pages on which they appear). The reverse image search might also be called “picture search”.

What can reverse image search be used for?

Generally, reverse image search technology can be used to find any digital graphic content that matches the criteria of a particular search engine. Reverse image search engines focus on different aspects depending on their algorithms. Some of them explore the whole picture and in the results, they display images that resemble a given picture, e.g. if you upload a photo of a bicycle on the background of a brick wall, you will receive a list of websites that use this image and a gallery of photos with bikes in front of a brick wall (different than the one you have uploaded). Some search engines recognize objects in the photo, and as results they display photos with related items. Using our example of a photo with a bicycle and a brick wall, the object that would be recognized is a bike, so in the results you would receive different photos of bicycles.

The example of a reverse image search

Specialized reverse image search engine for faces

Among reverse image search engines that focus on objects, there are also ones that specialize in specific areas. One of them is PimEyes. It specializes in finding faces that appear on the Internet. If you would like to find out where your face is posted online, upload your photo to the search bar below. You can also take a selfie using the camera from your mobile.

Perform a search