They say pictures speak a thousand words and thus, finding the right one is also essential, which is why we went out looking for the 7 best image search engines. Entering an image search term only to be greeted with disappointment and sometimes intolerable results might have been one of the reasons for the birth so many search engines with at least a part of each dedicated to this cause. We bring you search engines which let you personalize the results to suit your needs more than that of search engine optimization strategies.
1 – Google Image Search –
The first addition to our list was started by two graduate students from the Stanford University, this search engine grew to carve its own place amongst the competition sprouting up every now and then. The features and search tools offered by this engine were newly introduced, taken off, and brought back several times, but still, it has seen loyal users all through these phases. In 2007, it tried introducing a major change in its interface where the additional information of each image stayed hidden unless you moved your mouse over it. After being pulled back for some reason, it was reinstalled in 2010, supported by an option of reverting to the old version. The same year also saw another inclusion, a tool for finding similar or same images of different sizes.
2 – Bing Image Search –
This service by Microsoft has undergone several name changes since its inception. After Live Search, Windows Live Search, and MSN Search, it is now finally known simply as Bing. This version of the image search engine was announced first in May 2009, and went online a month later on June 3, 2009. The purpose and function of this page is explained by its home page itself, where each day a new image presents itself in an attempt to allure users. Currently, Bing is working towards the inclusion of Tiger, an index-serving technology which has started to roll out and expected soon, globally.
3 – Ask Image Search –
First known as Ask Jeeves, the next option on our list namely Ask image search engine was founded in 1996. Like Bing, this one also tries to vary its homepage. It greets you with some trending images and underlines it with the most suitable or popular tags. The results page shows you a number of other related web searches, as well as some search images links, which will help you with further exploration options as well. Following an interface design close to Google, Ask also lets you view relevant information about the image like name, URL and size amongst others. But it does not enlarge the image while doing so.
4 – Picsearch –
This Swedish utility follows a pattern which somewhat resembles the way Google appeared earlier. Apparently, one of its aims were to provide better search results in terms of family-friendly options, while reducing spam links as well. This one was also brought to life by two engineer students. Currently, it lets you look for images on the web, and also offers several filters to narrow your search results. When you search for a specific tag, the service returns to you with two categories of images. One of them offers your regular ones from all over the web while the other category shows up ‘on sale’ images from shutterstock which you can buy in various sizes.
5 – Yahoo Image Search –
This next one in our compilation was again, a brainchild of Stanford graduate students, but from the electrical engineers department this time. What started off as ‘David and Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web’, later changed to Yahoo!. Other than its obvious slang interpretation, the founders describe it as an acronym for ‘Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle’. This service also has its share of lows and has slipped down a few places against rivals, but can still be considered a formidable opponent in the competition. Recently, it also integrated a Facebook option on the left sidebar, which is accessible only if you log in with a Yahoo!, Facebook, or Google account. This option lets you find photos uploaded on the social networking website by friends in their albums. Other filters include top images, latest, and galleries.
6 – Flickr –
Flickr is not exactly a search engine which gathers images from all over the world wide web at a single click. The photo and video sharing website returns to you with results from its own database, which is created with contributions from users and sharers. When you share a photo on the website, it lets you choose who should see your image and who should not, or even offer you the option of keeping it to yourself. If you have a knack for photography and would love to flaunt it, the online space enables you to sign up and enjoy the works of like-minded people. Otherwise, you can simply search and enjoy the talents of several others.
7 – Photobucket –
Another photo and video hosting website namely Photobucket organizes its database into various categories for the ease of users. You can browse through all popular categories, featured ones, or more. The website also welcomes entries for several competitions, and lets users rate them as well. Other than this, it lets you create photo greeting cards for special occasions. Even if you have no idea how to make one, it helps you out with a wide variety of samples. Users can also gather tips on photo editing and story making from this one. At present, it boasts of over 9,236,341,000 photos and videos.
Here is our list of seven best image search engines to help you explore the beautiful world through pictures from the comfortable confines of your personal space. So go ahead, see the splendor of the earth through another’s lens and revert back with your preferred ones.