How to do a reverse image search – find the original source of any image

A long overdue post about finding the correct original source for images and giving proper credit when using images that aren’t yours. Images are an essential part of blogging, helping to attract readers and adding a little something extra to a post.

The saying “a picture is worth 1000 words” is extremely relative when it comes to blogging, so why don’t we give credit to those who made the image. Todays post will explain giving credit, what might happen if you don’t and how to properly find the original creator.

Why do I need to give credit to original source

Firstly, because it’s the right thing you do. You are using an image that someone took the time to create whether it be a photograph, an illustration or a graphic, therefore you should link back to them as a way of saying thank you.

More importantly, the creator can take legal action if you post their work without proper credits and consent. How would you feel if your images were being used on another site without a link to you? Pretty annoyed I’d imagine, as you should be. The image is yours.

What about social media sites such as We Heart It & Pinterest

I love weheartit for inspiring and pretty images but when it comes to proper sources, this site is awful. Weheartit is NOT an images source. Weheartit is a bookmarking site and unfortunately images usually get added there without an original source.

It is important to link to the original site. There’s nothing worse than seeing your image on Pinterest with hundreds of re-pins linked to another site because someone used it in a blog post without crediting it to you.

How to find the original source of any image

There is a way to find the original source of an image either online or saved to your computer using Reverse Image Search. This is also a great way to see who has used your images on the internet.

  1. Open Google Image Search in a new window.
    • If the image is on your computer, click the little camera icon and choose upload photo.
    • If the image is online, click the camera icon and paste the direct url or address of the image.
    • You can also drag the image into the search box.
  2. You’ll see pages that include the image you searched for, one of these is likely to be the owner and the original source. You may also see a lot of Pinterest links and a list of visually similar images.
  3. While on the creators site, have a look for a policy or copyright statement, this will let you know what copyright the person has put on their content and whether or not it can be redistributed etc.
  4. If you can’t find the original source, it is better to use a different image instead.
  5. You can also use TinEye although I didn’t think it worked as well.

Blogger’s guide to copyright

Check out my copyright series here to learn what copyright, fair use and creative commons means, how to protect your work by writing copyright notices, creative commons licenses and terms of use policies, what to do if you discover someone using your content without permission and more.

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