Why Your Business Needs to Know About Reverse Image Search
We’re all used to searching the internet for words, phrases, questions, quotes, and all manner of other things.
17:54 19 September 2019
However, these are always in the form of text, and searching for media is something that lots of people don’t even know is a possibility.
Reverse image searching enables you to search for an image instead of text. It then shows you where, if anywhere, the image you search for has appeared online. Sound like a gimmick? It’s actually an invaluable tool for businesses, and here is why.
Reverse image searching is a feature that anybody can take advantage of – you just need to know what website to go to. For example, Oberlo has an article on how to do a reverse image search on their website. That’s a good starting point if you want to understand a little bit more about the underlying technology and use case scenarios.
The fact that reverse image searching is so simple to do and completely free means that there’s no good reason for businesses not to use it where it can be beneficial. There are a number of useful functions that a reverse image search can serve for businesses, but there are three key use cases that are particularly important.
Tracking Image Use
If you regularly post original and copyrighted images online, you may well want to see if those images are being used elsewhere without your permission. You will especially want to know if other websites are hotlinking to your images, meaning that you are paying for the bandwidth. People who host your copyrighted content are obligated to take it down under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.
The DMCA takedown is a vital tool, alongside a reverse image search, for any business whose intellectual property might be distributed online without their permission – especially when the work is subsequently used for commercial purposes. However, it relies on the copyright holder finding the content and going through the correct process. Reverse image searching makes finding unauthorised uses of your work much easier.
Perhaps you don't create copyrighted creative works but, like most businesses and organizations, you receive and use them. If people are asking you to credit their work, you want to know that they are original creations. If you pay to use artwork that infringes someone else’s copyright, not only will you facilitate plagiarism, but you will open yourself up to potential legal and financial liability.
Fortunately, the growing number of applicants for creative positions choosing to present their work digitally, coupled with an increasing preference among students and artists more generally to keep digital portfolios of their work, means that there are often digital files that can quickly and easily be put through a reverse image search.
A much less niche use case than checking a portfolio is verifying someone’s identity. It is no longer uncommon for people to be recruited remotely or identified through a digital photo. A reverse image search will quickly reveal if their profile photo has been taken from elsewhere on the internet. Alternatively, it might prove that someone is in fact who they say they are.