Google rolls out reverse image search: RIP Tineye

Google rolls out reverse image search: RIP Tineye

Summary: Did Google just destroy Tineye to claim the throne of supreme reverse image search engine? I think so.

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TOPICS: Google
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Finally. Google has rolled out the ability to perform reverse image searches. Up until now, if you wanted figure out the source of an image, your best bet was to use Tineye (though some other more obscure services also exist). I always thought Google would just purchase Tineye and make it another addition to their repertoire, but it seems they decided to keep it all in-house. In my opinion, the more services I have to perform this task, the merrier. If you don't know what reverse image search is, here's a scenario to clearly spell it out for you. Let's say someone added you on Twitter or Facebook. You see their main picture and you think yourself, "man, that sure is an attractive person... almost too attractive to have just added me to their list of friends!" Lucky you, you can now save that picture (or copy the direct link to it), go to a site like Tineye or Google Images, then upload the picture (or provide the direct link) to it and voila! If that picture has been found anywhere on the Web by Tineye or Google Images, you will be provided with links to all the places that image was found. For a deeper dive into Tineye and for ideas on how to use Tineye like a Web sleuth, check out this article of mine. Back to Google Images, here is their official promotional video explaining how to use it and other search scenarios it can be useful for:

 

So, how does Tineye and Google Images compare? I took 10 images ranging from various subject matter to see how the results panned out. While I planned on doing an info-graph to show the two side-by-side, there was just no comparison. Google's vast reach outperformed Tineye in every single case I tried. While I'm sure there are scenarios where utilizing Tineye may yield results when Google doesn't (or, at least, may yield results that add to Google's), I've yet to run into one as such. Sorry, Tineye. With that said, what are you waiting for? Start digging through those directories of images you've saved through the years and see what you come up with! Never again will you have to wonder if @HotnessInYaFace23479 is some celebrity "wannabe" or an actual celebrity! It really is a great way to search and an asset to those who understand its value -- and to those who simply have yet to, but will. For more on Google Images reverse image search functionality, check out their promotional page. -Stephen Chapman SEO Whistleblower Related Articles:

Topic: Google

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23 comments
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  • Gentlemen, start your lawyers

    Uh-oh. Here come the copyright lawyers. I'll bet there are five million bootleg copies of AP, Reuters, and Getty photographs peppering the web. Now the guys who own the photos will be able to find all those obscure little blogs with copyrighted pictures on them.
    Robert Hahn
    • RE: Google rolls out reverse image search: RIP Tineye

      @Robert Hahn : I still cannot stop laughing at the title.
      Lord_of_the_Singhs
    • nah...

      Nah, I don't think Google would do that, that would be a death blow wouldn't it? Google has some strange ethics if you ask me. I've seen the Ghetty stuff, but I doubt they are going to get into the habit of suing their content providers. jmo...
      james@...
  • RE: Google rolls out reverse image search: RIP Tineye

    I liked TinEye and will be sad to see it go.

    Let's hope they reinvent themselves with some nice new functionality. Google is becoming jack of all trades... the question is how many things can they be really good at.
    Dejan SEO
    • jack of all trades, master of none

      @Dejan SEO
      OK maybe 1 - search. They've taken a bit of a hit in both search and adverstising, but their twin cash cows still are something they're good at.

      The rest, not so much. How long before Google stops supporting something (Gears, Wave, ect) is always the question.
      Will Pharaoh
    • Reverse image search tool

      Might want to check out this reverse image search tool: http://www.mypicguard.com
      easy scan for a batch of images, find all copies of your images online, manage, track, and take action using built in integration to DMCA take down site.
      leamiller
  • Google Goggles?

    Google Goggles has existed on mobile for a while... This is just the next version of it for the desktop this time. It's not all that new. And just FYI, it's not particularly accurate for most things... People's faces, not accurate... Animals, not accurate. Text and logos, though... Really accurate.
    snoop0x7b
    • RE: Google rolls out reverse image search: RIP Tineye

      @snoop0x7b Thanks for that. I tried a couple of pictures of celebrities that panned out well, but no animals. I tried wallpapers, online comics, other misc. images that all returned good results, but it's good to hear accounts to the contrary. Tineye is absolutely brilliant with its results insofar as the things you've listed. Maybe not "RIP Tineye" after all. :)

      -Stephen
      StephenChapman
      • RE: Google rolls out reverse image search: RIP Tineye

        @StephenChapman <br><br>It seems to do a good job of detecting graphics that are on websites if you upload something with text in it that includes a keyword on a website or an image directly off a site it may find that exact image. I uploaded the logo from my mother's blog, and it found her website. Similarly, I uploaded a graphic from my company's website, and it found my company's website. <br><br>Since celebrities are in the news frequently it's fairly easy to correlate them. What's more interesting is when it starts getting the hard stuff right. Out of curiousity were the celebrities you uploaded pictures from a website? I'm curious what would happen if you uploaded a self-taken one (if you have one). I wish I had one to try that with...<br><br>I uploaded a picture of my cat that I took, and one would expect that it may find other cats... The closest thing it found was a parrot and a horse. I also tried a macro photo that I took of a dafidil, the first page of results included only 2 flowers (of the 20 results). But also included results as diverse as a piece of toast, a picture of the earth, someone's computer... I uploaded a photo of my friend's dog and ended up with 2 pictures of horses and various scenic photos.<br><br>It also seems like it does better with images with greater depth of field. It seems like images with low depth of field confuse it because it considers the background a factor in what it finds. I'm going to experiment a bit more with this possibly tonight with my dSLR...
        snoop0x7b
  • There goes image trivia

    Among friends, I created trivia contests in a forum. I put in images, and asked who, what, where etc. about the picture as the question. The big reason I did this is that if I'd asked a text question, anyone could just Google it.

    Now I guess I'll have to urge folks even more not to cheat. Sure this ability was there by other means already, but Google is mainstream.

    I'd like to try out various image manipulation to see how far an image can be altered before it no longer finds a match equal to the original. Oh, bother. Is it going to just become "who can tell what this image used to be before I digitized (granulated) it?"
    Solenoid
    • RE: Google rolls out reverse image search: RIP Tineye

      @Solenoid It's not that accurate... I wouldn't be too concerned.
      snoop0x7b
  • RE: Google rolls out reverse image search: RIP Tineye

    This is useless for the things i tested it on. Not even close to anything but color. - Keep trying Google
    pcampagna
    • Maybe they will get a brain and buy Tineye

      @pcampagna Probably not thou.... the arrogance seems to flow pretty deep in google land.
      Reality Bites
  • RE: Google rolls out reverse image search: RIP Tineye

    I never had a whole lot of success using Tineye.

    Usually the results, if any, were linked to domains I wouldn't feel safe going to without first wrapping my DSL modem in a full-body condom.

    And lots of times when I went to the "safer" sites hosting the image I was attempting to track down, the image wasn't even there.
    Hallowed are the Ori
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  • Sorry Google

    Sorry Google, can't use it with my browser.

    No choice, can't run chrome, can't run firefox. Firefox, what happened?

    For some strange reason I can't even get to the photo icon which the video says should be there. I think it's blocked where I am? Or maybe it's not supported in my browser?

    Strange anyways... whatever...
    james@...
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