Peripheral Visions

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5 Powerful Google Image Search Features

Google Image Search may not have the glory and the widespread use of its more popular sibling Web Search but it is a very powerful and useful tool that can help you find both images and websites not easily discovered elsewhere.

This is even more true after Google overhauled its image search to add a new interface and still more features. Though the new version is still very controversial, it does provide several new tools that users should be aware of when looking for images.

So what are some ways you can improve your Google Image Search experience? There are too many tools to count but here is a sample of 5 of Google’s lesser-known Image Search features and why they are so useful.

  1. Search By Content Type: Either by clicking the “Advanced Search” link or using the sidebar on the results page, you can filter your image search results by content type including news, faces, photo content, clip art and line drawings. This can be very useful if, for example, you are looking to find a picture of someone named “Ferris” and keep getting images of Ferris wheels.
  2. Similar Image Search: Say you find an image that is close to what you want but not exact or you need to find it in a different size. Simply hover over the image in the results page and then click the “Similar” link at the footer to get images close to that one. Though the algorithm is far from perfect, it’s a lot better than looking blindly through the results.
  3. Size and Exact Size: You can also have Google Image Search, by using the “Advanced Search” link return only images of a certain size. This can include either images in a specific size range, small, medium, large, etc. or that fit an exact set of dimensions, including your desktop size if you are looking for a new background. Very useful for finding logos the exact size for use on a site.
  4. Coloration: Using either the “Advanced Search” link or the sidebar on the results page, you can also return images only of a certain color. You can also have Google return only images that are full color or black and white. This can be useful as an alternative to the similar search feature or to get great design ideas.
  5. Aspect Ratio: Need a horizontal image or a vertical one? What about a square one? By clicking the “Advanced Search” link you can select the aspect ration of the image that you wan. This will return images of all sizes, unless you filter by that too, but will return only images with the same height/width ratio.

Please bear in mind that, when you are using Google Image Search, that most of the images displayed are copyright protected and that you need to get permission to use the images on your site. However, you can also use the License filter, also available under “Advanced Search” to find images licensed for reuse.

All in all, these are just some of the more powerful and hidden features you can use with Google Image Search. By combining these features, and others not listed, you can trivially find just about any image you are looking for on the Web.

Author Bio: Lior Coolman is a consultant to an online task management start-up from new-york and also works with a nursing wear company.

Categories: News


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