Google Reverse Image Search – What is that image?

Have you ever found an picture and wondered where it was taken?

Or perhaps, you have no idea what that “thing” is?

A flower, an animal, a famous person, you name it – Google Image Search (actually: reverse image search) can help you find it!

How to: Google Image Search for Reverse Image Searches

Let’s start with a howto, in case this is all you are looking for.

BTW: we are not using the search to find images, but instead to find out what images are.

So how do you use Google Image search for a reverse image search? simple really :>

1. Goto the following URL:

2. Click on the little camera icon

Google Image Search camera icon


3. Choose where your image is located

Now you can choose where your image is

  • If you know the URL just paste it into the box
  • If you have the image, click¬†Upload an Image and continue from there

Google Image Search choice


4. Click “Search by image”

Now the reverse image search begins and Google will try to find matches to your image.

The results might include the following types:-

  • Exact matches to the image (ie. the image is used elsewhere)
  • Explanations of the image (faces recognised, plant matched etc)
  • At the bottom you can often find “similar images”

There is no exact results page I can describe, but Google Image Search will provide you with lots of ideas and result types


Uses for Google Image Search – Reverse Image Search

Now I know this is all amazing – technology of the future, but there is more!

Here are some uses for Google Image Search using images.

Find Plants, Animals via Image Search

This is more of a “what is that” kind of search.

  • Unidentified flower or fruit in your garden?
  • Spotted an animal in the wild, and never seen it before?

If you have an image or picture of something and want to know who created it. Try this out.

You can find painters, photographers, graphic artists. You name it.

einstein blackboard drawingFind People from a Picture

As scary as this may seem, it is easy for today’s computers to match faces. Even people who are not famous.

Buying a Car or Renting an Apartment

Now this can also seem really weird, but imagine some of the following scenarios:-

  • What model is that car?
  • Is that really what that apartment looks like? (combined with

It is possible to find things out that were impossible 10 years ago.

Find people using your images

By uploading your image or your URL you can see if your image is being used anywhere

  • Opportunity to get a link back to your site
  • Or ask for it to be removed
  • Or obtain payment if it is worth a lot of money

Other random uses of Reverse Image Search

  • Identify a product
  • Find a location
  • Find a recipe

The team at Lifehacker have a similar list of uses.

Chrome and Firefox Image Search Extension

Google Chrome icon svgIf you are a Chrome user (if not get it now – it’s fast, easy, useful) then you can get a Chrome extension to add this functionality to your browser.

Chrome Google Image Search extension

Another Chrome option is an extension that gives 4 image search website options

Firefox users also have this option, and can find the extension here.

Firefox Image Search Extension

Why add these? Basically it adds a context menu option – so when you right click an image you can search straight away for it.


Google Reverse Image Search is a powerful tool you can add to your toolbox.

Find out things you have never been able to before.

Make sure no one is stealing your stuff as well :>

If you want to learn more about Google Search – check out these two previous posts

Google Search – Tips and Tricks Part 1 & Part 2

What are you doing with Google Reverse Image Search?


Einstein image courtesy of Free Digital Images – Mr Lightman


About the Author Ashley Faulkes

Ashley is obsessed with SEO and WordPress. He is also the founder of Mad Lemmings. When he is not busy helping clients get higher on Google he can be found doing crazy sports in the Swiss Alps (or eating too much chocolate - a habit he is trying to break).

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