5 Unique Ways To Use Google Image Search

Google search boxGoogle image search is used by almost every netizen making it one of the most essential online services. Generally, users simply provide a textual query to find the most relevant image they're looking for. Sometimes, we're not able to find the required image and almost give up. But, there are several other ways to find photos on Google image search. These techniques refine your search strategy and filter out junk that is not related to your query. Applying these search techniques is quite easy and all you need is the knowledge of their existence. Some of these techniques are present from the very beginning and some are added recently by Google. If you're running a sensitive image search query that you do not want to reveal to anybody, make sure you're not logged in your Google account. I'm going to present some of these image search techniques that can help you in finding more relevant images in a much easier way.

Google search box

Search by Image

As I mentioned earlier, we're used to simple text-based queries for finding images on the web. This is applicable to almost any image search service. But, Google image search gives you a unique way to search images from their vast database. Now you can use an image to search an image. Sounds confusing?

Image search by image

Simply provide a related image that is relevant to your query and Google's smart algorithm will find relevant images, content and other information related to that image. To provide your query image to Google image search engine, click the camera icon within the search query box. You'll be presented with a pop up having image uploading options. You can provide your query image in 3 different ways.
  • Image URL - The easiest method is to provide a working URL of the image. You must ensure that it is publicly accessible else you'll get an error after the submission. Avoid submitting URLs containing variables in it.
  • Direct Upload - The second method lets you upload an image from your PC through regular file selection dialogue box. You should not upload very large images for query as it may delay the search result.
  • Drag 'n' Drop - And last but not the least is the handy method of directly dragging the image file within the image search box. This automatically starts the submission process.
Daily users who frequently search for images on Google and almost always try to find images similar to other images on different websites can use Firefox and Google Chrome 'Search by Image' extensions to directly submit query images from the websites simply by clicking on them.

Use Related Search Previews

This is yet another useful feature added to Google image search. Whenever you search for an image, Google shows a list of related searches with active hyperlinks just above the result results. Now, these hyperlinks show a snapshot of images through a drop down box to get a peek of search results for that related query.

Related search previews

This greatly helps in refining your search as you can quickly see the snapshots of all related search queries and can switch to one of them instantly. I've often used it successfully to find the exact image I was looking for. Initially, you may feel odd using this feature, but once you get the taste of it, you'll use it frequently during your image search queries.

Finding Licensed Images For Commercial Use

If you're a professional web publisher, you may be using images within your content. These images are either owned by you, or you take them from some other source. Generally, publishers use creative commons licensed images available for condition-based usage on their websites. Fortunately, Google image search easily lets you find such kind of licensed images that can be used on a commercial basis on a website provided you adhere to the license terms & conditions.

Find licensed images on Google image search

To find licensed images for commercial use, head over to SettingsAdvanced searchUsage rights option. This will present you several options shown in the image above to select the type of license associated with the images you're looking for. Remember, applying this attribute narrows down your search and returns much lesser results than before.

Search Images Within A Website

Sometimes, we're more interested in mining a large database of images present on the particular website. You can narrow down your search by instructing the Google image search engine to only look for relevant images on a particular domain.

Search images within a website

For example, if you want to search images only on Wikipedia website, you can mention that domain name in SettingsAdvanced searchSite or domain: option. This is a very handy option in different situations where the domain-specific image is the only requirement. While using this option, you must take care that you're not specifying any sensitive government website that is closely monitored for incoming queries.

Find Images Published Between A Time Period

Research students often use this option to find images published between specific time periods. To access this option, look at the sidebar of image search result page and find the 'Custom range...' option. You must specify the start and end date to specify a time frame. Make sure you're filling the date in the correct format to avoid date mismatch.

Time frames within Google image search

Sometimes, publishers use this feature to find images from within their own websites to look for images published between specific time periods. You can also find time range options for finding images published within last week or within last 24 hours. You can combine this option with other advanced search options to refine and narrow down your image search.