How to Search for an Image (and It's Source) via Google Images

Every time I search for an image via Google Images I think to myself, "I need to post this as a 'fabulous find' for anyone who hasn't discovered it yet", so today's the day!

I'm sure that this has happened to everyone at one time or another: You see an image that you LOVE on Pinterest and then when you click on the link it doesn't take you to the actual post about the image.  Or, maybe you see an image on another blog and there isn't a source listed and you really want to learn more about it.

Also, let's say that you write a blog and you're curious about who is using your images.  Are they linking back?  Are they using them as their own?  What are they saying about them?  This last question can be a tough one.  I ran a search for an image from one of my blog posts a few months ago just to see what would come up and to say that I wasn't prepared for what I would find would be an understatement.  When I clicked on the link to my image I discovered that another blogger had taken one of my posts including all of the images and wrote the most horrid things about them, using profanity throughout the post.  While I understand that by sharing my projects online I open myself up to criticism, it was a hard read, I'll tell you that, and I'm sure one of the meanest posts I've ever read.  It hurt to read through it, not because she didn't like my projects, I really didn't care about that, but because the whole post was so extremely negative and hateful.  So my point is, while Google Images can be a helpful tool, if you search for your own images be prepared for what you might find, there might be some surprises, and not the good kind.

If you have posted pictures of your children online, even on a family blog, searching for the image can also show you if, how, and where these images may be posted.  I've read about several instances where pictures of children were taken and altered with added text or were posted on less than desirable sites so it's nice to have a way to check for that.

So how do you search for an image?  It's really simple.  You start here at Google Images.

First click on the camera icon on the right in the search box.  I'm searching for this image of my Crepe Paper Flowers so I will need the image URL to paste into the search box.  (There is also options to drag and drop, upload an image from your computer, and download a Chrome extension. Click here for more information.)

To do this right click on the image in the post you are searching for and select 'copy image url'.  Paste it into the box and click on the blue 'search by image' box.

You'll see something similar to this; the image you searched for, a list of 'best guesses for this image', 'visually similar images', and 'posts that include matching images'.

You might find yourself searching through a bunch of Pinterest links, but I've found that generally the link to the original source is on or close to the first page.  If it doesn't show up, it's possible that the image you are searching for has been saved with a new name and has a new URL.  This is where the 'visually similar images' section comes in handy.

I've searched Google Images ever since I found out about it last year and have had pretty good luck finding the source I'm looking for.  Let me know if you have any luck with your searches!

Today's Fabulous Find...Searching Via Google Images

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Kim Wilson said...

Great tip! I always knew this was possible but felt stupid asking how (yes, that was stupid of me in the 1st place!). Thanks for sharing! I pinned this post too!
Kim @ Sand & Sisal

Kate said...

Brilliant! Thanks for sharing. :)

Mary Brown said...

I LOVE THIS. thank you! I was just wondering how to do this today!!! :) May I post a link to this on my blog permanently, so people can see this? Let me know. ! THANKS!

Janet said...

That would be great Mary, thanks!

Mary Brown said...

awesome - THANK YOU! I'll work on that later. I'm about to eat dinner. :)

Deb~Paxton Valley Folk Art said...

Thank you so much for this post, I never knew this was possible! Wonderful tool, I'm going to pin your post on Pinterst if that's OK so everyone can keep track of their images. Thanks again :O)

Mary Brown said...

just fixed my blog - and now, it's linked up there and everything! :) took me a hot minute to figure it out, but I did it! :)

lynn said...

so interesting--i'll have to try this--thanks,janet:)

Shelbey said...

This is great! Thank you! I never repin anything unless it links to the original source, and have been disappointed a few times because the pin led to nowhere. Like this one: http://www.diynetwork.com/decorating/how-to-make-a-hand-painted-vintage-sign/index.html
Your post helped me figure out how to find the source for this JOY sign that was all over pinterest recently.

Janet said...

That's great that you were able to find the source Shelbey! Glad it worked for you!

KidSpace Stuff said...

Thanks for sharing the info on how to find a photo source. I spend a great deal of time making sure all my blog posts link back to their source and do get frustrated with the hunt sometimes. I have a file titled "broken links" for photos without a source. Now I know how to find them with relative ease.

Sorry to hear about the negative post. Wish people were more kind but such is the world today.


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