An essential guide to the reverse image search

Hello, reader. This article is an essential guide to the reverse image search. Here, you will come across the four reverse image search tool.

  • Google 
  • Bing 
  • Yandex 
  • TinEye

Click here to get PDF Version this article. It's free and always will be.


Table of Contents  [ ]

Why you should read this guide

This guide will help you to find a tool that is useful for you. As per the fact from the StatCounter, that Google holds over 91% search engine market share. To put it another way, It is the world's most popular search engine. Despite being the most popular search engine alongside having a vast amount of data, It will not produce accurate results in the case of Reverse Image Search.

Most of the people ignore the search results provided by Bing, Yandex, and any other search engines. Therefore, this guide will help you to how to find accurate information using all the search engines. Google, Bing, Yandex, and TinEye have specific importance. In this case, none of them win or lose. Meanwhile, You'll be strange that your favorite search engine doesn't produce the result like other search engines.

In general, Your queries might be related to finding the same image with different sizes, to find all the links that point the image you queried. Moreover, Your query may be about the information of any person. Also, You might do an image search to get original information including social media profiles. By considering all things, Google is not a tool that will fulfill your goal. As a result, You've to look at the search engines too.

So, This guide will not only provide you information on how to use the different search engines for reverse search images but also which search engine you should use for different purposes.

Does the reverse image search consider Meta-data and tags associated with the image

The reverse image search operation is based on the CBIR system. And, CBIR is the Content-Based Image Retrieval System. CBIR focuses on the contents of the image like shapes, colors, or any other information attached to the image in contrast to the Concept-Based Image Retrieval system. Concept-Based Image Retrieval system relies on the texts associated with the image like ALT attribute, caption and image heading, etc. CBIR is a great initiative over a meta-data approach for image retrieval.

How to do a reverse image search

On Google

As being the most popular search engine on the planet, I would like to start with Google. Albeit I've already written the article for google reverse image search, So It will be useless to re-write the process steps. So, You can read the article on how to do a reverse image search on Google to know the detailed steps. You can do it on mobile devices also.

On Bing

In this section, I'm going to show you how to do a reverse image search using Bing.

Bing is the second most popular search engine after Google. Hence, It makes Bing more significant for us to consider it. Now, go step by step.

Step-1: Open the Bing. Bing has a very simple look like Google.

Home page of Bing Search Engine

Step-2: Click on the lens icon. See the below icon to locate it.

Click on the lens icon to do reverse search image using Bing.

Step-3: Drag and drop the image.

Take photo, Paste the image URL or upload the image to search about it on Bing.

I'll search for the following image.

Image of Neil Patel

After uploading the image, Bing will process it and display the result. The results look like the following.

Bing image search results for the Neil Patel's Image. This is the results of the reverse search image process.

Results of Bing Reverse Image Search

Bing has shown the details of Neil Patel because we searched for him. The results contain the following.

  • Looks like tab 
  • Pages with tab 
  • Similar images tab 
  • Related searches tab

Bing has not shown the direct results for the social media profile. But if you focus on the face of Neil Patel's image, then You'll find one square box over the image.

Square box over the Neil Patel's face at the center of his image.

Click on that square box. When you click on it, Bing will display the link to the profile. Click in the link to open his profile.

Click on the text 'Neil Patel' to open his detailed search results on Bing.

The search result for the profile looks like the following.

Image search results of the Neil Patel's Image on Bing

On Yandex

In this section, I'm going to show you how to do a reverse search image on Yandex.

According to StatCounter, Yandex has the lowest market share of search engines used worldwide. Despite this fact, I included it in my guide because of certain qualities it does offer. Now, go step by step.

Step-1: Open the Yandex.

Reverse Image Search page of Yandex search engine.

Step-2: Click on the camera icon located next to the search button.  See the following image to locate it.

Click on the camera icon highlighted in the image.

Step-3: Upload or provide an address of the image that you want to search. And wait for the result.

Paste the Image URL or upload the image on Yandex Image Search

The result you got it seems to be different from Google and Bing. See the following image.

Reverse Image Search results provided by Yandex Search Engine

On TinEye

In this section, I will explain how to do a reverse image search on TinEye.

TinEye is the image search tool. And it is specifically designed to search or track the history of images. Now, go step by step.

Step-1: Open TinEye.

Home page of TinEye. It is a reverse image search tool.

Step-2: Upload or paste the URL of an image and wait for the result.

Paste the URL of the image or upload it on TinEye.

You'll see the results looks very clear.

Reverse Image Search results provided by TinEye.

Comparison of the results in the first place

Comparison of the reverse image search results provided by Google, Bing, Yandex, and TinEye

Results by Google in the first place

After uploading the image, Google will process it and displays the results. It displays the following in the first place.

  • Size of the uploaded image 
  • Other sizes possible 
  • The knowledge panel at the right side of the page 
  • All the websites that contain the uploaded image 
  • Similar images

Results by Bing in the first place

After uploading the image, Bing will process it and displays the results. It displays the following in the first place.

  • Search link on Bing
  • Pages that contain the uploaded image
  • Similar images
  • Related searches

Results by Yandex in the first place

After uploading the image, Yandex will process it and displays the results. It displays the following in the first place.

  • Various possible sizes for the uploaded image
  • Similar images
  • All the sites that contain the uploaded image

Results by TinEye in the first place

After uploading the image, TinEye will process it and displays the results. It displays the following in the first place.

  • Display the number of results
  • All the websites that contain the uploaded image

Custom visual search

What is custom visual search

A Custom visual search is a part of the reverse image search. Here you are not going to do anything new except searching for the different parts of the image. Consider the following image.

Faces of the Indian news anchors

In the above image, You can able to see the different faces. These are the great Indian journalists. See the reverse image search results in the following image.

Reverse image search result provided by Google

The above image reflects that Google is confused because of too many faces in one photo and because of that, It is unable to recognize every face. Similar things also happened with Bing. Yandex has shown the websites that contain the uploaded image but was not able to find the same image of different sizes. And, I got very shocking results from TinEye. It has shown 0 results. I was expecting 0 results from Yandex, but it proved me wrong.

In such cases, custom visual search becomes very helpful. Surprisingly, Google does not provide this. Only Bing provides. So, to do so, You compulsory have to open Bing Reverse Image Search. Next, read how to do a custom visual search.

How to do a custom visual search

Step-1: Open Bing Image Search.

Step-2: Upload or paste the URL of an image.

Step-3: Click on the Visual Search. See the following image to locate this button.


Click on the visual search to perform custom visual search on Bing

Step-4: Drag the square with the mouse to your search area. Here, I wanted to search for the bottom-left person. So, I resized the square and dragged it to over that part and dropped it. As a result, Bing displayed results in a moment.

Square box dragged and dropped over the Arnab Goswami's face.

Detailed analysis of the result

Knowledge Panel

We've chosen the four search engines to reverse search the image. But, out of the four, only Google and Bing have resulted in the knowledge panel. Google has directly displayed the knowledge panel whereas on Bing you have to open it by clicking on the profile link. The comparison of the knowledge panel provided by both search engines is as follows.

When I conducted a test, I got results from both search engines. But, The results were very shocking. Read the below why I mentioned the word 'shocking'.

Google provides data like personal information, Name of the image, Also the field specialty if the image is about any well-known person and the social media profiles. Also, It provides the share button to share the search results link.

Bing provides data like information fetched from social media profiles, official website if the query is subjected to any well-known person or establishment. Also, it provides a list of all the social media profile that has higher user engagement. Additionally, It provides the number of engagements too. In other words, Bing also provides the number of followers or subscribers in the search result knowledge panel.

In the case of Google, You will only get the available social media profiles with no additional information. And if you focus on the knowledge panel of both search engines then you will find that Google displayed four social media profiles such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram whereas Bing has listed 3 social media profiles compared to Google.

From the social media profile listings, There may be a question that will generate on your mind that does LinkedIn not matter for Bing?. Also, this question directed me to think in a different way that, Is this happened with Neil Patel's image?. Hence, before making any decision about Bing, I did another search. And, I searched for Amit Agarwal who is the first Indian blogger.  Here, Bing has displayed the LinkedIn. So, one thing is clear that for Bing, LinkedIn matters. I also searched for Neil's LinkedIn profile and found that his profile has very high user engagement.

Next, the question may like It is good to see that Bing provides the social media engagements directly in the knowledge panel, But is it updated daily? To get the answer, I also searched for all social media profiles and found that real numbers are very close to that of given in knowledge panel.

But in the case of Amit Agarwal, Bing has not displayed the social media engagements. I also searched on Google, Yandex, and TinEye. Let me clear that I used the following image of Amit Agarwal to search.

Photo of Amit Agarwal

Now, let’s compare the knowledge panel provided by both search engines.

Comparison of the knowledge panel provided by Google and Bing on Reverse Image Search for Amit Agarwal's image

It's seen from the above image that Google failed this time. Here, In the case of Amit Agarwal Bing has chosen Wikipedia as a source of information. This time, User engagements have not shown.

I have conducted up to 100 searches and found that Bing more accurate than Google in the case of the Knowledge Panel. And I found that the Google algorithm is not perfect with images having dark backgrounds.

Image Sizes

For the base query of Neil Patel, Google resulted in all the websites that contain the image you are searching for with its size parameter.  Bing has also done the same thing but differently. And, I'm happy with the Yandex search engine. Yandex has listed all the sizes of the image. Instead of adding the knowledge panel, Yandex added the table of image sizes. See the following image.

Reverse Image Search on Yandex has resulted all the possible image sizes in a well arranged manner.

You will be surprised that Yandex is still not the best. That's because TinEye list more different image sizes compared to Yandex. TinEye has shown 164 results for the same query with Image Size, Image Link, and a website's link from where the image is located.

TinEye also provides a feature to sort the results by up to 5 factors. You can also search the image by selecting the web address. Also, It displays the number of image occurrences on the website. See the following image.

Feature provided by TinEye to find Image by domain.

Number of results

For the same query, each search engine has displayed a different number of search results.  The lowest search result I found is on Yandex. The highest number of search results is provided by Google. Bing is the second one, following Google. TinEye provides fewer results but the results displayed are organized in a very clean manner with detailed information.

Social media profiles

As I discussed earlier, All the search engines including the tool TinEye shows the social media profiles in its search results. And Google and Bing both are the clear winners of this section If we include all search engines. If we compare Google and Bing then as per my observations, Bing wins the race. Bing shows very detailed information in its knowledge panel. And, this information is fetched either from social media profile or from any high authority websites.

By considering the earlier images, You now know that Bing also displays the user engagements which Google does not. And, this makes Bing different from Google, even I always believed in a fact that only Google is better and accurate. But after writing this article I came to know that Bing is more accurate than Google.

Comparison of Social Media profiles from the results obtained by Reverse Image Search on Google and Bing

How to find image origin using Reverse Image Search

To find image origin is very easy, indeed, Only if you follow my trick. In the first place, If you go through the common basic system then It will be time-consuming. In other words, If you search every website that is listed in the search results then it will take excessive time and also you will get tired. I recommend Google, Yandex, and TinEye to find the image origin. Moreover, TinEye is an extremely easy tool to find the oldest use of the image but it has a certain limit regarding the search results.

The reason behind no recommendation for Bing is because of the limited search results for the uploaded image. I was expected that Bing will do more, But it doesn't. Bing is more accurate in the case of knowledge panel, But, it sucks in the case of search engine results especially in terms to find Image Origin.

Yandex will be the worst search engine for you If you planned to find the image origin using Yandex's data. And, It's because I couldn't find any feature to filter the search results for the factor of time and number of occurrences. Although, Google also doesn't offer to filter based on the number of occurrences on the same websites. But, Google does offer to filter based on the time range. And, I liked that.

I strongly recommend TinEye to find the Image Origin. The reason for the recommendation is because of its feature to sort and filter the search results. TinEye allows you to sort and filter images based on many factors. As a result, I do recommend that you should give priority to it over other search engines. I will explain all the features later in this guide. Overall, I think TinEye is the best tool and should be used in the second instance after Google.

As earlier I mentioned that Google is also the best tool for finding the image origin. Although, I don't consider it feature-rich than TinEye Image search too. TinEye is feature-rich but it has not wide data as Google has. See next why I consider Google over TinEye as the finest image search tool.

In the first place, Google is not any tool rather it is a search engine. In other words, It is more than any tool. And, It is not the search engine alone rather it's the world's most popular search engine holding the highest market share of search engines used worldwide. It does offer the highest search results as possible. As a result, Google will make your goal more difficult to achieve. In other words, It will be time-consuming if you go through one by one to the last search result, as I mentioned earlier. Hence, Google provides the feature to filter the search results based on the factor of the time range. And with both things like Time factor filtering with the highest number of search results put Google in the first position followed by TinEye to find the image origin.

Using the time range as a factor to filter the search results on Google you can easily find the old or new data.

How to find Image Origin using Google

Follow the below steps to find the image origin using the Google Search Engine.

Step-1: Click on the Tools to open the tool that will search the results using the time range factor. See the following image to locate the button Tools.

Click on the Tools to open it from Google.
The filtering factor for Google Search Results has been displayed

Step-2: Select the Time factor. See the following image.

Time Factor for Image Search Results filtering

Step-3:  Click on the Custom range and provide the range. See the following image.

Click on the custom range to filter the image search results.
Enter the time range in the input fields.

As shown in the above image, I have chosen the time range from 1/1/2000 to 31/1/2000. Means, It's the first month of the year 2000. So, Google will search for the results for that period. If results found then it will display it else Google is so smart that It will increase the search period by itself to find the viewable number of results. See the following image.

Google Image search results with automatically increased time range factor for filtering the results

As shown in the above image, Google has increased the factor of time range until 1st July 2002. And, for that specified period, It has displayed the two search results. Additionally, You can see the dates of both search results. The First was found on Google on the date of March 15, 2000, and later was on the date of February 1, 2001. Now let's check for the period before 2000. I've changed the time range. And, the new time range starts from 1 Jan 1970 to 1 Jan 2001. As a result, For that time range, Google has displayed two results with more old results than that available for the previous time range. See the following image.

Different search results for the different time ranges. Google has not shown the results although it was published on the date which falls under the selected time range for filtering the image search results.

Also, from the above image search results, You will notice that the results are not properly placed under the given time range factor. I think its a mistake of an algorithm. Let me explain in detail. First, I've searched for the time range of 1 January 2000 to 31 January 2000, But, Google has increased it by itself to 1 July 2002, and it's not a mistake you think.

The mistake is placed somewhere else. Now, see the dates of the results. They are March 15, 2000, for the first result, followed by Feb 1, 2000, for the second result. Second, I've searched for the time range of 1 January 1970 to 1 January 2001. And, for that time range factor, Google provided two search results. Now, see the dates of the results. They are March 15, 2000, for the first result, followed by Feb 15, 2000, for the second result.

Here, If you notice then in both searches, the second search result is the same. But, It should fall under the time range 1 January 2000 to 1 July 2002, because Google is showing the date Feb 15, 2000, for the second search result displayed for the time range 1 January 1970 - 1 January 2001. Based on the above experiment, One thing is sure that there is a mistake in the algorithm that needs to be fixed.

As I've mentioned that You can use Yandex and TinEye for the same purpose. Now let's talk about Yandex.

How to find Image Origin using Yandex

Yandex is not a proper place to find image origins like Google and TinEye. Though Yandex displays the search results, it doesn't display the result date. See the following image which shows the comparison of the search results provided by Google and Yandex.

Comparison of the image search results provided by Google and Yandex.

From the above image, You can see that no date of any results is displayed. Means, You've to search for the image by clicking the result links, then see the date of the article, after note it, and repeat the same procedure till the last result.

So, I recommend not using Yandex for this purpose, rather use it to find different sizes for the same images. And, this one Yandex can do very easily than both Google and Bing.

Next, read about the tool TinEye.

How to find Image Origin using TinEye

Well, You don't have to waste extra energy for TinEye because It has simplified the User interface for you. It has the feature to sort the images based on the following factors.

  • Best match 
  • Most changed 
  • Biggest image 
  • Newest
  • Oldest

From the above list, I think the last factor may fulfill your purpose. But TinEye has one limitation. The limitation is that It is not like Google.  So It may unable to deliver the oldest data.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Google or any other search engine or tool alone cannot fulfill your purpose rather you have to use the combination. Additionally, For the purpose to find the same images with different sizes, I recommend Yandex and TinEye. And I recommend Google and Bing for the knowledge panel information, But in the case of accuracy Bing wins the battle against Google. Moreover, I recommend Google and TinEye to find Image Origin, But Google wins the battle against TinEye in the case to deliver the oldest data as much as possible. Plus, Bing is the only search engine out of the many search engines considered in this article, can able to do a custom visual search. So, for a Custom Visual Search, I recommend Bing.

That's all for the Reverse Image Search.